Monday, September 29, 2014

Supervised bail program flourishes in Pennsylvania county

In response to increased usage of Bradford County, Pennsylvania's supervised bail program, the program is being expanded, which will almost double the number of individuals who can enroll in the program, reported The Daily Review.
The program was launched in September 2013 to reduce the overcrowding at the Bradford County jail.
The Bradford County commissioners voted to create a third, full-time bail release officer position for the supervised bail program, which is a program aimed at increasing the number of defendants who are out on bail.
The additional officer will increase the number of defendants and others who can be enrolled in the program to approximately 75, Bradford County jail Warden Donald Stewart said.
Until now, the capacity of the program has stood at about 40 individuals, Stewart has said.
At Thursday's meeting of the Bradford County Prison Board, Stewart said that there were 53 defendants and others currently enrolled in the supervised bail program.
The number of individuals enrolled in the program had reached an all-time high of 57 at some point within the previous two weeks, he said.
Enrollment in the program was allowed to increase beyond the 40-person capacity because the two bail release officers felt they could handle the additional individuals, the warden said.
In an interview, Stewart said that enrollment in the supervised bail program has been growing because, over time, the county's four magisterial district judges have been using the program more, and because Bradford County Court Judge Maureen Beirne also began using the program not long after it was launched.
The supervised bail program "is a very successful program" which has saved the county money, Bradford County Commissioner Daryl Miller said.
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