Today, nearly 60 percent of inmates in jails across Ohio are awaiting trial. They have not been found guilty. They are not serving sentences. That figure comes from the state Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, and it is highlighted in the report released last week by the Supreme Court of Ohio Task Force to Examine the Ohio Bail System. The task force sees that number as helping define a problem — too many are held behind bars for no reason other than their inability to afford bail.

As the task force reminds, the country’s judicial system rests on “the foundational principle” that those accused of a crime are presumed innocent until they are proved guilty. Yet, the report adds, for those who are arrested and then jailed because they cannot pay a monetary bond, that presumption is cast aside. At least that is how it feels.

Ohio has company. Many states have been looking at the injustices in their bail systems. Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor convened this task force of key stakeholders early this year. Thus, in a handful of months, the 30 members, including state Rep. Tavia Galonski, an Akron Democrat, and James Lawrence, the chief executive of Oriana House, built on past work and arrived at nine recommendations. The courts and state lawmakers would do well to move quickly on what has been proposed.

There is an urgency that goes beyond the violation of principle. Those confined while awaiting trial may face the risk of losing their job, or their home, or the custody of their children — “all without being convicted of a crime,” as the task force report stresses. Lives can be disrupted in ways that can take years to recover. The report notes that “as few as three days in jail can make those who are detained more likely to offend in the future.”

Add the financial cost for the community as a whole. The report cites research showing the average daily expense for a jail bed is $65, compared to $5 for “maximum supervised release.”

Which gets to the gist of the recommendations — the need to establish a range of alternatives in the form of supervised release, those without the means to meet the bail expense no longer spending prolonged time in jail. This is a path to helping address the wreckage of mass incarceration.

For the task force, that starts with making available a validated risk-assessment tool to all municipal and common pleas courts. This tool assists in evaluating the likelihood of whether a defendant will appear in court or poses a danger to the community. It involves data-crunching. Thus, care must be applied to avoid unintended biases. Judicial discretion would be preserved while providing judges with an evaluation to help inform their decisions and achieving a more standardized process across the state.

That latter goal frames another recommendation calling for counties such as Summit with multiple municipal courts to adopt a uniform bond schedule.

More than anything, the task force wants a focus on tailoring expanded pretrial services and programs based on the individual needs and risks of defendants. That may mean drug or alcohol testing or meeting regularly with a pretrial officer. This is something state lawmakers must step up to support with real dollars, as they recently have for indigent defense. The investment promises savings, fewer defendants held in jail, more leaving stable lives.

What the task force also gets is the need to keep tracking and assessing outcomes to ensure that the system improves and keeps doing so. The bail process has failed many Ohioans. Here are recommendations designed to bring much better results.