Text Size:

CCE Releases Post-Arrest Report

CCE describes, for the first time, the District’s unique post-arrest process and makes recommendations for improvement in its new report, Clarifying the Post-Arrest Process in the District of Columbia: Report, Recommendations and Proposed Legislation. Post-arrest release is an often overlooked, yet important, facet of the DC criminal justice system. In 2012 alone there were almost 17,000 persons arrested that availed themselves of the array of post-arrest release options.

The evolution of the District’s post-arrest release process has been largely rooted in custom and practice with the unintended result being confusion by the public and, at times, even criminal justice practitioners – attorneys and police officers alike – as to how the system works, which crimes are eligible for which types of release, and how current and prior criminal history and other factors may affect post-arrest release options.

The CCE report recommends that:

  1. The Council for the District of Columbia should consider adoption of proposed legislation to update and clarify the post-arrest process and related criteria; and
  2. The Metropolitan Police Department should adopt the proposed “plain English” description of post-arrest options and conditions on MPD's Notice to Arrested Persons, with translations into other languages as necessary.

It is worth noting that DC is one of the few jurisdictions in the country that has a post-arrest release process that embodies the principle that arrested persons, so long as they do not pose a danger to the community or a flight risk, should be released from custody on their own recognizance. The post-arrest process is largely based on the least restrictive options available to arrested persons, rather than being based on the amount of money they are able to post.

The report is, for the most part, based on the consensus of the DC Misdemeanor Arrest and Pretrial Release Project Subcommittee - a diverse committee of those who are involved in the post-arrest process in DC. CCE thanks the Subcommittee for its efforts and excellent work! The Subcommittee is chaired by Clifford Keenan, a Board Director of the Council for Court Excellence, and includes CCE Board Directors Cary Feldman, Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP; Mark Flanagan, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP; Richard Gilbert, Law Offices of Richard K. Gilbert; Michael Hays, Dow Lohnes PLLC; and Earl Silbert, DLA Piper. Representatives of DC criminal justice agencies on the Subcommittee are: Daniel Cipullo, Tenisha Jiggetts and Kiger Sigh, the DC Superior Court; Patricia Riley and Renata Cooper, United States Attorney’s Office for DC; Laura Hankins, the DC Public Defender Service; Kelly O’Meara, the DC Metropolitan Police Department; and David Rosenthal DC Office of the Attorney General.


Copyright ©2011-2012 The Council for Court Excellence. All rights reserved.