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Pretrial Services

Pretrial Services

What is Pretrial Services?

Printable Pretrial Services Overview

Pretrial Services is a county-funded department that interviews defendants and makes recommendations to the Court on whether a defendant should be released on Personal Bond. Pretrial Officers also collect information for the Court’s use in determining whether or not a defendant qualifies for court-appointed counsel. Pretrial Services’ Case Management Pretrial Officers monitor compliance and provide case management to assure that defendants report to court and successfully complete court-ordered treatment or comply with other conditions.

What Does Pretrial Services Do for the Travis County Community?

  • We provide qualified defendants an opportunity to be released on bond.
  • We provide Travis County with a means to effectively and safely reduce jail overcrowding.
  • Individuals released on Personal Bond are able to maintain their employment and meet financial obligations while awaiting disposition of their case.
  • Individuals released on Personal Bond have the opportunity to access appropriate treatment resources.
  • Pretrial Officers provide close supervision for individuals released on Personal Bond.
  • By facilitating the release of qualified defendants on Personal Bond, Pretrial Services provides a cost savings to Travis County by reducing the number of defendants incarcerated while awaiting trial and reducing the cost of pre-trial detention.

What Do Central Booking Officers Do?

  • Central Booking Officers interview defendants and investigate bond applications to make recommendations to the Courts regarding release on Personal Bond, and which conditions, if any, should be required of the defendant if s/he is released by the Court.
  • The office is staffed 365 days/year and is open to the public from 7:30 AM – 8:30 PM M-F and 8:00 AM – 8:30 PM Weekends and Holidays.
  • We provide information to the public regarding the status of defendants who were interviewed for Personal Bond.

What Are the Elements of a Pretrial Services Investigation?

  • Collecting information from defendant regarding residence, employment, and references.
  • Verifying information, including employment, with references.
  • Conducting a criminal history check.
  • Obtaining a summary of the allegations against the defendant.
  • Obtaining input from the Complaining Witness concerning the defendant’s possible release in most victim-oriented offenses (i.e. Family Violence Cases).

What Factors Influence the Recommendation for Personal Bond?

Positive:
  • Employment status
  • Attorney status
  • Family Support
  • Stability in Community
  • Nature of the Charges Being Faced
Negative:
  • Lacks Stability
  • Lacks Family Support
  • Seriousness of offense
  • Bond Amount
  • Prior Criminal History
  • History of Violence
  • Evidence of mental instability

What are the Common Conditions of Personal Bond?

  • Drug Counseling
  • Alcohol Counseling
  • Family Violence Counseling
  • Participation in one or more of Pretrial Services’ Caseload Programs
  • Anger Management Counseling
  • Ignition Interlock Device
  • No Contact with Complaining Witness

What Do Case Management Officers Do?

  • Case Management Officers provide direct and indirect supervision to defendants by monitoring defendants’ court dates and bond conditions to assure court attendance and condition compliance.
  • Case Management Officers connect defendants with resources in the community that will assist them in maintaining stability (treatment referrals and employment assistance resources).
  • Case Management Officers provide information to the Courts about defendants’ compliance with conditions of Personal Bond.

What Types of Caseloads are Used to Assure Public Safety?

  • Regular Supervision
  • Mental Health Supervision
  • Family Violence
  • Ignition Interlock Program
  • Pretrial Intervention Program (designed to assist indigent defendants with substance abuse problems in obtaining access to needed treatment)
  • Electronic Monitoring

    • Radio Frequency (RF) Electronic Monitoring
    • Global Positioning System (GPS) Electronic Monitoring
    • Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM)
    • Mitsubishi Electronic Monitoring Systems (MEMS)

Central Booking Unit Statistics

FY 2009
Number of Defendants Screened by Pretrial Services 40,901
Number of Defendants Eligible for Personal Bond Interview 30,663
Percentage Defendants Eligible for Personal Bond (of Defendants Screened) 75%
Number of Defendants Granted Personal Bond 18,275
Percentage of Defendants Granted Personal Bond (of Defendants Eligible) 59.5%

 

Case Management Unit Statistics

FY 2009
Number of Defendants Assigned to a Case Management Program 7,781
Average Monthly Caseload Balance (the number of defendants monitored on any caseload at the end of the month) 3,636

Pretrial Services Division Staffing

Pretrial Services is a Division of the Travis County Adult Probation Department. The Pretrial Services Division consists of: 7 members of the Management Team, 21 Pretrial Officers assigned to the Case Management Unit, 18 Pretrial Officers assigned to the Central Booking Unit, and 9 Support Staff. This full time staff is augmented by 4 part-time support staff.

Updated 6/23/10

Last Modified: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 10:18 AM