The program seeks to allow for the safe release of defendants from jail whenever possible between the period of arrest and court disposition, and to control their risk of failure to appear and/or commission of new crime if released. The program has three distinct and important functions: (1) collecting and analyzing defendant information for use by Judicial Officers in assessing release risk; (2) making recommendations to the court concerning conditions of a defendant’s release; and (3) monitoring and supervising defendants in the community who are released from jail during the pretrial phase of their cases.
Pretrial Specialists conduct Risk Assessments of defendants in jail awaiting their initial appearance in court. Pretrial Specialists use an empirically based and statewide validated tool to predict failure of defendants to appear in court and/or re-arrest while on pretrial status.
Pretrial Specialists also provide daily supervision and monitoring of defendants released into the community by the court, reminding them of their upcoming court dates, and other court orders. Supervision improves pretrial outcomes by providing appropriate conditions and services for those awaiting trial. Common pretrial supervision conditions include defendants appearing for all court dates, being law abiding, checking in with a Pretrial Specialist, court date reminders, drug and alcohol testing, and electronic monitoring.
Value of Pretrial Services
As with most jurisdictions that use a pretrial services program, the focus is to manage intelligently its jail population. This too is a goal of Pretrial Services in Weld County. The program seeks to maximize rates of release of defendants from jail without minimizing rates of failure to appear and re-arrest so that only defendants who are detained are those whom would likely fail to appear in court and/or would be threats to public safety.