Sebastian County Judge David Hudson said the pretrial assessment tool was produced as a result of a study the county contracted the Council of State Governments to do to take a look its criminal justice system. The council reported best practices in April.

Hudson said the sheriff and jail administrator recommended implementing the pretrial assessment tool.

“The committee’s approved it today,” Hudson said.

Other questions the tool encompasses include whether or not a defendant has ever been sentenced to prison, has ever been treated for mental health problems or has any warrants.

After the planning committee approved the protocol, Hudson said it would take effect Tuesday as well.

″… That would allow, potentially, up to maybe 30 inmates to be released from the jail to help reduce the jail population for those that would qualify for this new procedure,” Hudson said.

There were over 500 inmates at the Sebastian County Adult Detention Center at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Hudson said.

The protocol was also discussed during the previous planning committee meeting Sept. 19. Hudson said the committee endorsed the protocol with some modifications at that point. The modified protocol was approved during Tuesday’s meeting.