House Bill 19-1226 will create statewide pretrial services and require the use of pretrial risk assessment tools – tools that have not been tested for gender or racial bias.
Built-In Bias: HB 19-1226 will make the right to bail conditional on an algorithm that is neither transparent nor has it yet been tested for gender or racial bias. In fact, 110 civil rights groups are calling for the ban of the use of these risk tools. Said the ACLU of Kansas, “The use of risk assessment tools in making pretrial decisions poses threats to civil liberties and will not reduce the jail population or improve pre-trial accuracy.”
Millions to Fund: HB 19-1226 will cost the state and counties millions to fund. Early estimates say the cost could top nearly 16 million plus in the first two years alone.
Pre-conviction probation: This legislation will also largely eliminate the right of criminal defendants to post bail and be expeditiously released from jail, relying instead on the untimely bureaucracy and not your friends and family to decide if you get to get out of jail on bond. All 64 counties will now be required to supervise criminal defendants who have not yet been convicted, policies which over the last 40 years have now been understood as a central cause of mass incarceration. HB 19-1226 will cast a dragnet of “pre-conviction probation” conditions that threaten basic civil liberties and will set defendants up for failure right from the start.