What is Pretrial?
Pretrial is the time period after an individual has been arrested but before they have been convicted of a crime. During this time period, a pretrial services officer will gather information about the defendant through interviews and record checks. The pretrial services officer reports the information to the judge, so the judge can decide whether the defendant can be released on pretrial supervision or should be detained.
At a detention hearing, the judge will decide whether to grant pretrial release. If the defendant is granted pretrial release, the pretrial services officer will supervise the defendant to ensure he or she is not a danger to the community, the conditions of their release are met, and they attend all required court hearings.
Pretrial supervision ends if the defendant is found not guilty at trial or the charges are dropped against him or her. If the defendant is found guilty or pleads guilty, the pretrial services officer will typically continue supervising the defendant until their sentence begins. Pretrial supervision can last for several months.
The purpose of the Adams County Pretrial Services is to improve pretrial practices in Adams County and across the state by not relying solely on a person’s ability to afford monetary bail. Instead, a risk assessment is used to determine a person’s likelihood of failing to appear for future court dates and the likelihood of committing a new offense during the pretrial phase.
Pretrial Services operates under the authority of the Circuit and Superior Courts of Adams County with day-to-day operations supervised by the Chief Probation Officer who shall report to the judges of those courts.
The purpose of Pretrial Services shall be to assess the risk posed by the release of each arrestee booked into the Adams County Detention Center on a criminal charge, and to supervise those that are ordered to Pretrial Services.
The Adams County Pretrial Services also promotes the goals stated by the Indiana Supreme Court, specially to:
- Reduce pretrial detention expenses for local jails;
- Enable many arrestees to return to their jobs and provide support for their families;
- Eliminate the unfair and often prolonged incarceration of poor people who don’t have the resources to purchase a bail bond or pay a bail deposit;
- Enhance the reliability of guilty pleas;
- And realize the benefits of reduced recidivism and enhanced public safety that flow from the use of evidence-based risk assessment tools for pretrial release decisions.
Indiana Criminal Rule 26, Pretrial legislation (See Ind. Code 35-31.5-2-121.5 et. Seq.), Pretrial Services Rules, and other evidence-based practices determine the operations of Adams County Pretrial Services.