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March 19, 2019

ABA joins Arnold Ventures in national partnership to tackle pretrial justice issues

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 19, 2019 — The American Bar Association will join with philanthropic Arnold Ventures as a partner in a new grant-funded community effort dedicated to reducing unjust and unnecessary pretrial detention.

The National Partnership for Pretrial Justice, which officially launched today, will include more than 30 research, technical assistance, policy and advocacy organizations that will work to advance pretrial justice nationally and in more than 35 states across the country.

“The ongoing detention of individuals not yet convicted of crimes merely due to their inability to pay cash bail is wrong” ABA President Bob Carlson said. “It impedes the interests of justice and imposes grave harms on defendants, their families and their communities. The ABA is working to fix our broken pretrial justice system. We are proud to partner with Arnold Ventures and the other members of the National Partnership on this important issue.”

The National Partnership seeks to leverage the collective expertise of stakeholders to drive wholesale reform. Partnership members are studying ways to improve prosecutorial data collection, developing models of progressive prosecution, evaluating new public defense service models, trying to improve judicial decision-making and working to more effectively remind people of court appointments to reduce failure to appear.

“Our pretrial justice system is fundamentally broken,” said James Cadogan, vice president of criminal justice at Arnold Ventures. “We hope that by supporting a diverse group of leading criminal justice reform researchers, practitioners, thinkers and institutions, we’re able to disrupt the status quo and achieve our goal of eliminating unnecessary and unjust pretrial detention.”

The ABA has long advocated for bail reform in the criminal justice system. Most recently, in August 2017 the policymaking ABA House of Delegates called for state and local governments to adopt pretrial justice policies favoring “release of defendants upon their own recognizance or unsecured bond.” The ABA also recently filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the bail policies and practices in the city of Calhoun, Ga.

About Arnold Ventures

Arnold Ventures is a philanthropy dedicated to tackling some of the most pressing problems in the United States. Founded by Laura and John Arnold in 2010, Arnold Ventures’ core mission is to improve lives by investing in evidence-based solutions that maximize opportunity and minimize injustice. More information about Arnold Venture’s work is available at

With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement on line. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews