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Criminal Justice Services
Frequently Asked Questions

What is Pretrial Services?

The purpose of Pretrial Services is to assist Judicial Officers in discharging their duties. Such programs are intended to provide better information and services for use by Judicial Officers. The information helps in determining the risk to public safety and the assurance of appearance of persons age 18 or over or persons under the age of 18 who have been transferred for trial as adults held in custody and charged with an offense, other than an offense punishable by death, who are pending trial or hearing.

What are the goals of Pretrial Services?

The goals are to assist Judicial Officers in making bail release decisions or in reviewing and amending the conditions of release on bail at subsequent hearings.   In addition, Pretrial Services provide supervision of defendants placed in the custody of the program and assure compliance with the conditions of release imposed by Judicial Officers.

Who is eligible for referral to OCJS Probation?

Eligibility is in accordance with Virginia Code 19.2-303.3 and includes:  Offenders 18 years old, or considered an adult at the time of conviction, of a misdemeanor or a non-violent felony for which the court may impose a jail sentence.

How are clients placed on local probation supervision and referred to OCJS?

Individuals are placed on local probation supervision and referred to OCJS by Judges in the General District, Juvenile and Domestic Relations District, and Circuit Courts in Prince William County as a sentencing option, and an alternative to incarceration.

What did the Court mean by “good behavior”?

Good behavior, when ordered by the court, means that you will keep the peace and not violate municipal, county, state, or federal laws or ordinances.

What is “Color Code”?

Color Code is a designation given to OCJS clients on probation or pretrial supervision. It is a way to help our clients be successful in abstinence from illegal drugs and/or alcohol. When on Color Code a client must call a phone number, usually every day. The phone message will tell the client whether he/she needs to report for a drug/alcohol test. The phone number is 703-792-3024.

What is the inclement weather policy?

OCJS strives to do the right thing for our community and our clients. This means that we must sometimes strike a balance between convenience and safety. If Prince William County schools are closed or if after school activities are cancelled due to inclement weather, we will always cancel our groups. However, our offices may still be open and individual appointments with officers may still be in effect. Please contact your officer directly for more information.

What is the OCJS Domestic Violence Program?

The Office of Criminal Justice Services receives federal funds to address violence against women. The goal of the service is to implement a community-coordinated response to address the needs of domestic violence and stalking victims in the greater Prince William County area.

The Program’s primary activity is to monitor and report treatment condition violations of protective orders that have been issued by the courts. In addition, the staff ensures that victims of alleged abuses receive information on available community resources.

Victim Services: For information regarding domestic violence victim services in Prince William County, visit the ACTS/Turning Points website at: ACTS Turning Points or call (703) 221-4460.

Domestic Violence 24 Hour Crisis Line

Batterer’s Intervention Program Information: To find a list of certified BIPs in Virginia, visit the Virginia Batterer’s Intervention Board website at:

What is expected of me if I am referred for community service?

Court ordered community service may include probation, or it may not. It is important that you know which the court has ordered. Look at your court order. If it includes the word “probation” you need to be sure to report to our office. Persons not on probation may report directly to Volunteer Prince William (VPW, 9248 CENTER STREET MANASSAS, VIRGINIA  20110 PHONE: (703) 369-5292). If you are also on probation, your probation officer will give you instructions to report to VPW. You will next be referred [sent] to a community service work site, a non-profit organization. The site will give you instructions about your work schedule and conditions, such as attire. When you have completed your required hours, a report will be sent to our office.

What is expected of me if I am referred for substance abuse services?

OCJS helps clients connect with the right level of services. If you are court ordered to undergo substance abuse screening or assessment, your probation/pretrial officer will begin the process with you. Sometimes your officer can complete the process, and you will need no further services. Other times, (based on the assessment tools we use), you may need to meet with others. We have “embedded” substance abuse counselors and we assist clients to connect with other programs (like the Community Services) in the community. Regardless of the type or level of services you are involved in, you will be subject to random drug and/or alcohol testing.

What is expected of me if I am referred to Electronic Monitoring?

Electronic Monitoring (EM) is a tool used in both pretrial and probation that helps clients keep compliance with court-ordered obligations, specifically restrictions of house arrest. OCJS uses EM on a very limited basis; it will only be used if specifically ordered by the court. There is no charge for EM at OCJS. If court ordered, a member of the OCJS Intensive Community Supervision Program will meet with you and help set-up the equipment. The equipment involves a small device (about the size of a large wristwatch) which will be strapped (a tamper-proof plastic strap) to your ankle. You will also have a base unit in your home (about the size of a net book computer). The base unit is cellular and does not need to be connected thru a land-based telephone line. It does, however, require an electrical connection. The EM system allows OCJS staff to know if you are at your home, and to be alerted when a person leaves their home. OCJS officers are able to respond 24 hours a day to violations, and they are empowered to immediately seek arrest warrants when appropriate.

How do I volunteer or intern at OCJS?

OCJS welcomes volunteers and interns in our probation/pretrial departments (currently there are no opportunities in the domestic violence program). Your status and qualifications will guide us to what types of duties you might be eligible to participate in; keep in mind that any criminal history might preclude you from working with us. If interested, please contact the manager at the office closest to you (see our “Contact Us” list).

How do I become a Probation/Pretrial Officer?

Our Officers are Prince William County Employees.  Any position vacancies (including administrative support positions) as well as minimum requirements can be found at the Prince William County Human Resources page. 


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