ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services has released a Notice of Funding Availability for the Pretrial Services Grant Program. The office will distribute more than $1 million for FY 2022 on a competitive basis to local courts and government agencies to establish or improve pretrial service programs. Including this year’s award, more than $2 million has been dedicated to bolstering these programs. Additional pretrial services helps equip our judicial system with resources that protect communities from violent repeat offenders, while deterring recidivism and connecting non-violent offenders with mental health or substance abuse issues with treatment.
“Pretrial service programs provide our judges additional tools for safely referring non-violent offenders to alternative services to create better public safety outcomes for our communities,” said Glenn Fueston, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services. “That translates to more available resources to keep hardened criminals off Maryland streets while decreasing the chance of recidivism among non-violent offenders.”
As of August 2021, approximately 90 percent of the local detention population statewide is pretrial. These alternative services are implemented at the discretion of criminal justice partners – including courts, state’s attorneys, public defenders and corrections institutions – by utilizing evidence-based risk assessments, new monitoring technology, and case management staff to handle referrals for substance use and mental health services.
The Pretrial Services Program Grant Fund was established during the 2018 legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly to assist counties in the development, implementation, and improvement of pretrial services programs. The program is consistent with the goals of the 2016 Justice Reinvestment Act, which encourages the safe reduction of detention populations and reinvestment of savings into efforts that further reduce crime.