Pretrial Services Subcommittee 


The Pretrial Services subcommittee of the Criminal Justice Council began in July 2014. A team of Dane County criminal justice stakeholders attended the Pretrial Justice Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. earlier in 2014 and created a recommendation and timelines for the implementation of innovative pretrial practices. The pretrial subcommittee emphasizes the importance of evidence-based decision-making and the usage of data and research in the criminal justice system. These practices can lead to a decrease in the use of pretrial detention by using a validated assessment tool in conjunction with judicial discretion to keep low-risk offenders in the community while awaiting trial.


Pretrial Subcommitee Members

Colleen Clark-Bernhardt, Equity and Criminal Justice Council Coordinator

Catherine Dorl, Dane County Public Defender

Troy Enger, Chief, Division of Community Corrections District 1

Carlo Esqueda, Dane County Clerk of Courts

Jeff Kostelic, Executive Assistant, Dane County Executive

Nicholas McNamara, Dane County Circuit Court Judge

Ismael Ozanne, Dane County District Attorney

Kerry Porter, Dane County Sheriff's Office


Pretrial Services Initiatives and Reports


Public Safety Assessment

The Dane County Criminal Justice Council  has launched a pilot project to apply a data-driven assessment to reduce costly jailing of low-risk offenders. In December of 2016, Dane County began the implementation of the Public Safety Assessment (PSA), a risk assessment tool developed by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation used at initial court appearances to make accurate, efficient, and evidence-based decisions on whether a defendant should be detained prior to trial or released to the community. The PSA is a nationally-validated, race-neutral instrument currently in use in 30 other jurisdictions. The PSA will be fully implemented in Dane County starting February 2017. Dane County’s use of the PSA will be evaluated by Harvard University’s Access to Justice Lab in a multi-year, randomized control trial.

The Dane County Criminal Justice Council is the first county in the United States to partner with Harvard University's Access to Justice Lab for an intensive, multi-year study of the PSA and outcomes.  Outcomes measured will include: length of stay, racial and ethnic disproportionality, and cultural shifts within the criminal justice system. 

Video: Community Conversation on Pretrial Justice: National and Local Perspectives

Report: PSA Quarterly Report

The PSA and RCT in Dane County

Pretrial: Using technology to improve pretrial decision making

In the News

Experts: Wisconsin criminal justice reform starts with looking at pretrial detention

Pretrial, bail reform subject of June 3 presentation

How a pre-arrest opiate program is saving lives in Wisconsin

Restorative Community Court finds success in Sun Prairie

Algorithms Can Decide Pre-Trial Jail

Dane County courts test data-driven tool used to set bail for defendants

List of Dane County CJC Pretrial Subcommittee Meetings



Date Agenda Minutes Meeting Recording
February 24, 2021 (Remote) Agenda Minutes Meeting Recording
April 7, 2021 Agenda Minutes Meeting Recording
June 16, 2021 Agenda Minutes  


Date Agenda Minutes Meeting Recording
January 8, 2020 Agenda Minutes N/A
March 11, 2020 Agenda Cancelled N/A
August 19, 2020 (Remote) Agenda Minutes Meeting Recording
October 28, 2020 (Remote) Agenda Minutes Meeting Recording
December 2, 2020 (Remote) Agenda Minutes Meeting Recording


Date Agenda Minutes
January 23, 2019 Agenda Cancelled
February 27, 2019 Agenda Minutes
April 24, 2019 Cancelled Cancelled
June 26, 2019 Agenda Minutes
August 28, 2019 Agenda Minutes


Date Agenda Minutes
January 9, 2018 Agenda Minutes
May 1, 2018 Agenda Minutes
June 27, 2018 Agenda Minutes
July 26, 2018 Agenda Cancelled
August 29, 2018 Agenda Minutes
September 26, 2018 Agenda Minutes
October 24, 2018 Agenda Minutes
November 28, 2018 Agenda Minutes
December 12, 2018 Cancelled Cancelled


Date Agenda Minutes
December 19, 2017 Agenda Minutes


Date Agenda Minutes
January 20, 2015 Agenda Minutes
February 12, 2015 Agenda Minutes
June 15, 2015 Agenda Minutes


Date Agenda Minutes
July 17, 2014 Agenda Minutes
July 23, 2014 Agenda Minutes
July 30, 2014 Agenda Minutes
August 13, 2014 Agenda Minutes
August 22, 2014 Agenda Minutes
October 20, 2014 Agenda Minutes
December 15, 2014 Agenda Minutes