The Pretrial Supervision Program is designed to aid the courts in the initial processing of defendants, reducing jail overcrowding, and upholding public safety. The program accomplishes these tasks through the provision of screening and background information about offenders to the judiciary at court hearings as well as maintaining supervision of offenders awaiting trial.
An integral responsibility of the Pretrial Supervision Program is to provide background information to the courts on newly arrested defendants to assist judges in the pretrial phase of the judicial process. Pretrial Interviewer/Investigation Officers screen defendants who are being held in the Prince William County Adult Detention Center awaiting their first court appearance. These officers collect and verify demographic information, criminal history and other information regarding substance abuse, mental health treatment and/or medical problems. The Pretrial Interviewer/Investigation Officers compile a risk assessment based on the information collected and make a recommendation to the courts in reference to a defendant’s bond. The defendant may be recommended for continued detention, pretrial supervision, a monetary secured bond and/or release with a promise to appear (Personal Recognizance Bond). When a recommendation for release with pretrial supervision is made, a defendant is referred to the program by the court.
Pretrial Supervision Officers provide supervision for these defendants until a final disposition is reached in their court case. When defendants are placed in the Pretrial Supervision Program, they are additionally ordered by a judge to comply with certain supervision conditions. Defendants are released back into the community with the stipulation that they comply with these conditions while they are awaiting trial. Conditions may include:
Weekly office contacts with a Pretrial Supervision Officer
Weekly or bi-weekly drug testing
Attendance at substance abuse education classes
Assessment and services provision
Any other special conditions imposed by the court
Pretrial Officers' duties include:
Interviewing defendants in jail.
Completing necessary court paperwork and verifying defendant information.
Reviewing criminal histories.
Evaluating information and making bond recommendations to the court.
Providing judges, Commonwealth's Attorneys and defense attorneys with investigation results and release/bond recommendations.
Pretrial Supervision Officers monitor compliance with the conditions of release and report participant progress and/or violations to the courts. The Pretrial Supervision Program is used for both misdemeanor and felony defendants; the average defendant remains in the program for approximately two to three months. In the event of non-compliance, the judge may return the defendant to jail to await trial.
Intensive Pretrial Supervision
The Intensive Pretrial Supervision Program, established in Prince William County in July of 2006, is a new initiative unique to Virginia. This program was created with the initial task of further reducing jail crowding at the Prince William County Adult Detention Center. The Intensive Pretrial Supervision Officers screen defendants who remain incarcerated after their initial bond hearing and have a predicted detention stay of 90 days or more. The defendants are screened to determine if they are eligible to be returned to the community on house arrest or electronic monitoring while awaiting their trial. Eligibility for Intensive Pretrial Supervision is determined by the defendant’s risk level on the Virginia Pretrial Risk Assessment Instrument, resident status, employment status, and criminal history. After a defendant is screened utilizing these criteria, the information is provided to the court. If the court deems the case eligible, the defendant is ordered into the program under Intensive Pretrial Conditions. A defendant who participates in the Intensive Pretrial Supervision Program is released back into the community on electronic monitoring, and has specialized conditions based on the needs of the clients.