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BALTIMORE (AP) — A pilot program under way in Baltimore County aims to lessen the number of people detained in lockups while awaiting trial.

The Baltimore Sun reports that a new scoring system seeks to reduce numbers of jailed defendants without failing to ensure public safety.

A risk assessment program that started being tested in early December gauges various factors including the seriousness of a defendant’s offense, their job history and any previous failures to appear in court.

Judges have considered criteria like this for many years. But Chief Administrative Judge Kathleen Cox tells the newspaper that the new scoring method is designed to keep decisions consistent.

Cox says Baltimore County reviewed similar scoring programs in two other Maryland counties.

Judges are still able to follow their own discretion during the pilot program.


Information from: The Baltimore Sun,