Through their strategies to reduce the jail population, the city successfully established a program to provide early bail review hearings within five days for people held in jail pretrial; increased early diversion opportunities through the Police-Assisted Diversion Program and other alternatives to detention; and reduced the average length of time people spend in jail awaiting trial or a violation of probation hearing.
Additionally, as part of the city’s efforts to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in the jail population, Philadelphia established a racial and ethnic disparities workgroup to develop approaches to embed racial equity in their decarceration strategies and work towards a more equitable justice system. They also developed data tools and processes for investigating racial disparities at decision points across the criminal justice system; reviewed outcomes of key reform initiatives by race and ethnicity and suggested policy and practice changes to reduce disparities; and conducted collaborative implicit bias training across criminal justice partner agencies.
Additionally, establishing a Community Advisory Committee and developing partnerships with community-based advisors allowed the city to bring in additional perspectives that are critical to the success of making the local justice system fairer and more equitable.
The Safety and Justice Challenge has relationships with community groups who are engaged in conversations and decision-making related to reforming the local justice system. The Philadelphia partnership represents a collaborative effort between key stakeholders including: courts, police, corrections, public defenders, district attorneys, behavioral health, community members, and many others who support the city’s efforts to dismantle barriers to racial equity in the local justice system.