U.S. District Court Pretrial Services Q&A's
Most counties offer Pretrial Release Services Program administered thru the
local jails and courts. A pretrial release program provides objective
assessments of criminal history and personal data for judicial proceedings on
all new arrestees in order to classify their public safety risk.
The Pretrial Release Services Program (PRSP) investigates the criminal history
and personal background of arrestees processed into a County or City Central
Booking or Intake Detention Center and presents this information at court
hearings. This program also supervises arrestees who have been released on
Jail - Pretrial Release Service Programs
List of Offenses relating to Pretrial Release
US Federal District Court Pretrial Services
What does a U.S. Pretrial Services Officer do?
Title 18 U.S.C. §3154(1) states that the US Pretrial officer will:
Collect, verify, and report to the judicial officer, prior to the Federal
pretrial release hearing, information pertaining to the pretrial release of
each individual charged with an offense, including information relating to any
danger that the release of such person may pose to any other person or the
community, and, where appropriate, include a recommendation as to whether such
individual should be released or detained and, if release is recommended,
recommend appropriate conditions of release . .
The officer prepares a report that helps the Court make an informed release or
detention decision. If the defendant is released, in general, pretrial services
officers are responsible for: assisting persons under supervision in complying
with conditions of release, monitoring compliance, providing necessary support
services, and informing the court and the U.S. attorney of all apparent
violations of conditions.
The objectives of supervision are to reduce the likelihood that persons on
pretrial release will fail to appear on scheduled court dates, or commit crime,
or otherwise pose a danger to any other person or the community.
What type of crimes are individuals arrested for in the federal system, which would place them on supervision with U.S. Pretrial Services?
The jurisdiction of federal courts in criminal cases is the authority of the
court to hear a certain kind of case. Federal court jurisdiction in criminal
cases is limited to those offenses Congress gives the courts the authority to
hear. Most of the offenses Congress has authorized the federal courts to hear
are defined in Titles 18 and 21 of the U.S. Code.
FEDERAL CRIMES :
A federal crime must have some connection with the interest of the nation as a
whole and not with just a particular state. The crime must be a violation of a
criminal law passed by Congress. There are various categories of federal
crimes. There are those crimes which affect certain areas that the federal
government has the power to regulate under the Constitution such as banking
practices, interstate commerce, and imports and exports. There are crimes which
affect agencies of the federal government such as the Department of
Transportation and crimes which occur on federal government property. In the
latter instance, the Assimilative Crimes Act provides for federal prosecution
of some crimes that would ordinarily be prosecuted in state court.
(The above information on federal crimes was gathered from the Administrative
Office of the U.S. Court, Court Reporter Desk Book resources site)
Does the U.S. Pretrial Services Office drug test individual who are placed on supervision?
Yes. In fact, the agency operates its own testing laboratory in the headquarter
office in Albuquerque. The agency's focus on drugs-of-abuse testing is for the
use amphetamine/methamphetamine, opiates, cocaine and marijuana. Specimens are
collected at any one of thirty collections sites in the state of New Mexico and
shipped to the in-house laboratory.
What services are afforded to individuals placed on supervision to the U.S. Pretrial Services Office?
Title 18 U.S.C. § 3154 (4) allow the chief pretrial services officer to operate
or contract for operation facilities for the custody or care of defendants
including residential halfway houses, addict and alcoholic treatment centers,
and counseling services. The Pretrial Services Office in the District of New
Mexico utilizes two halfway houses, one residential treatment center and some
25 outpatient vendors who provide substance abuse and mental health counseling.
Pretrial was set up to help only those that cannot afford to post bail. If you
feel that you can pay your bail or have the collateral (own property) then it
is best to pay your bail in cash or thru a
bail bond company. Additionally, some states forbid a defendant from
being released on a Pretrial program if he or she is charge for a serious crime
or a crime of violence. See
list of serious crimes.
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