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YUMA, Ariz. -- Five courts around Arizona will be trying out a new system to help judges decide whether it's safe to release criminal defendants before their trials.

The system for scoring individual defendants will be used by Superior Courts in Gila, Mohave, Pinal and Yuma counties and Mesa municipal court, along with courts in several other states.

Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch says defendants who are threats to public safety should remain behind bars while those who are not shouldn't remain in jail just because they cannot afford to post bail.

The Yuma Daily Sun reports that a foundation plans to implement the assessment system in additional courts in coming months.

Associated Press,

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