Jefferson County has been selected as one of eleven counties in Indiana to pilot a Pretrial Services Program in collaboration with the National Institute of Correction (NIC), the Office of Court Services and the Indiana Department of Correction. This collaborative effort with local key criminal justice stakeholders has developed policies and practices in accordance with the Elements of a Highly Functional Pretrial System.
The overarching goals of Pretrial Services are:
- To Maximize Court Appearance Rate
- To Maximize Public Safety
- To Maximize Release from Jail
A Pretrial Services staff member interviews every person who is arrested within 24 hours of the arrest. The person is assessed with a state-wide standardized risk assessment. The outcome of that validated assessment is placed in a matrix which takes into account the severity of the offense. That information is put into a report and given to the Judge, Prosecutor and Defense Representative before the defendant has his/her first hearing. The Pretrial Report is utilized by the Judge in making informed decisions on whether to release the defendant from jail or to set a bond. This decision is based upon the defendant's risk to reoffend or not appear in Court prior to completion of their case.
If the person is released from jail, they are placed on levels of pretrial supervision that vary according to risk. These include; texting notification of Court hearings only, standard supervision with office appointments, and/or electronic monitoring. Participants are encouraged to enter into programs and services according to their needs. If a violation occurs, the Courts are notified.
For more information visit: National Institute of Corrections Pretrial Page.