Court Leader’s Advantage Podcast: October 19, 2021 Episode 

Brought to You in Cooperation with NACM

The national movement to reduce or eliminate cash bail continues to spark heated discussion.  Several states, including New Jersey and Alaska, have instituted bail reform.  Other states such as California have repeatedly seen attempts at reform fail, either in the legislature or at the ballot box.  Proponents argue that bail criminalize poverty.  Bail doesn’t keep the most dangerous in jail, it keeps the poorest. Opponents point to reported instances where bail reform was followed by an uptick in crime.

This month we are looking at the ongoing debate over bail reform and the pivotal role that courts play in this discussion. Some of the questions we will explore include:

  • What are courts doing now about bail reform?
  • What role does generating revenue have in the debate over bail?
  • How do risk assessment algorithms play into this discussion?
  • What advice do our panelists have for the rest of us regarding courts and bail reform?

Watch the  October 19, 2021 CLAPodcast Episode 37 Minutes 18 Seconds

Listen to the October 19, 2021 CLAPodcast Episode 36 Minutes 6 Seconds

Leave a question or comment about the episode at

Today’s Panelists

Alexzandria Poole is an Interim Senior Trial Attorney at Neighborhood Defender Service (NDS) of Detroit where she carries a felony caseload in Wayne County. Before joining NDS Detroit at its inception, she was a public defender in Manhattan for six years. She is a graduate of University of Michigan – Ann Arbor and received her juris doctorate from William and Mary Law School. Alexzandria is originally from Flint, Michigan.

Judge Paul C. Farr graduated from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU in 1999 and has been a member of the Utah State Bar for 21 years. He has been a municipal court judge for the past 11 years. He is also a member of the Utah Judicial Council and has been serving in that capacity for the past 5 years. 

Judge Edward Spillane is the Presiding Municipal Judge for the City of College Station and has served in this position since May 2002.  Prior to this, he served as an Assistant District Attorney for Brazos County for eight years and as an associate for the law firm Fulbright & Jaworski for two years.

Judge Spillane received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University, and his law degree from the University of Chicago.

He is past President of the Texas Municipal Courts Association (TMCA); the 1st VP on the TMCA’s Board; was a member of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct representing all Texas Municipal Courts; is a member of the Texas Judicial Council; a member of the National Task Force on Fines, Fees, and Bail Practices; and a board member of the Misdemeanor Justice Project of the John Jay School of Criminal Justice in New York.

Judge Spillane has written articles in numerous publications, including The Washington Post, Texas Town and City, and the University of Chicago magazine.  His articles have focused on the plight of indigent defendants and also the benefits of mindfulness in the courtroom.

He has taught on behalf of the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center and several national organizations.

Courtney Whiteside is passionately dedicated to providing the citizens of Missouri with a fair and unbiased judiciary through education and collaboration with the other branches of government, our community and national partners and providing our judicial staff with the tools to be successful in this fast-paced environment. Her journey in the judiciary started in 2012 in her hometown of St. Charles, Missouri as a court clerk then taking her to Jefferson City to work with the Office of State Courts Administrator and on to the Missouri Supreme Court to serve as the state’s municipal division courts monitor. Today Courtney is the Director of the St. Louis County Municipal Division where she continues to pursue providing educational opportunities to municipal divisions and clerks through various committees and educational groups of the state while promoting cultural and procedural reform progression. It is her great honor to partner with judicial partners in Missouri and across the nation.

Elizabeth “Liz” Rambo is the Trial Court Administrator for Lane County Circuit Court. As the TCA for one of Oregon’s largest courts, Liz is responsible for all non-judicial court functions including budget, human resources, technology, facilities, and business efficiency. A 31-year court employee, Liz has a history of advocacy for the mission of the Oregon Judicial Department and the service that the Oregon Judicial Branch provides to the public. Liz has served on a variety of judicial branch leadership committees including as Chair of the Chief Justice Communications Committee, member of the Chief Justice Strategic Planning Committee, Law and Policy Workgroup, Internal Audit Committee, the Oregon eCourt Steering Committee. For the last five years, Liz has worked closely with Lane County leadership toward building a new Lane County Courthouse and will continue to bring her years of experience to that ongoing project through design and construction. Liz graduated with high scholarship from Oregon State University with a BA in history and has an MBA from Portland State University. She is a long-time member of the National Association of Court Management and holds a Court Manager certification from the National Center for State Courts.

Do You Want to Learn More?

Vera Institute Wayne County, Illinois Report

Dollars and Sense in Cook County

Principles on Fines and Fees

The Level of Service Inventory – Revised (LSI-R)

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