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Pretrial Services Programs

GENERAL PROGRAM INFORMATION

Merrimack County Pretrial Services is in the 15th year of Operation

National Pretrial Services was established in July 1978.

          In 1998 the Merrimack County Attorney’s Office began to research how the program might benefit the County with regard to budgetary savings as well as assisting the County Jail with overpopulation of low risk offenders.

On July 09, 2000, MERRIMACK COUNTY PRETRIAL SERVICES was established with the first client enrolling for supervision.

Since that day (as of 12/31/14) 4,578 individuals charged with varying levels of crimes have participated in the Merrimack County pretrial release program.

1. An average of 26% of all jail interviews enrolled in MCPTS in 2014.

SAVINGS:

The County reports the “Full or Actual Cost” to incarcerate a single inmate for a year to be approximately $55,115.00 or $151.00 per day.

         In 2014, MCPTS recorded 39,505 client supervision days totaling $5,965,255.00 savings to the county.

         The 2014 Pretrial Services operating budget was approximately: $400,000.00

BENEFITS:

        1. Providing better assurance for public safety.

         2. Providing varying levels of supervision to defendant more than just release on own recognizance.

       3. Providing defendant background information to assist court, prosecution and defense in making more informed decision relative to bail.

       4. Monitoring defendant’s court dates to insure appearance.

         5. Supervising defendants out of jail continues to keep them working, responsible, while providing care of their own families.

       6. Life Skills, Substance Abuse & Education Programs are provided which lay ground work for re-habilitation.

         7. Electronic Monitoring with or without GPS tracking is available.

       8. Alcohol testing equipment is available for defendants less likely to re-offend or be re-arrested while under supervision.

       9. Defendants are inclined to get reduced or suspended jail sentences if compliant with pretrial supervision, thus helping with jail population.

RECIDIVISIM

Clients RE-ARRESTED while on Program: 3-5%

Clients bail REVOKED due to violations while on program: 5 %

Clients RE-OFFEND and return to MCPTS after program release: 10%

STATISTICS as of 12/31/14

Total: 5,273 Clients were court ordered to be supervised by MCPTS:

Year Clients Year Clients
2000 22 2008 471
2001 222 2009 449
2002 240 2010 409
2003 297 2011 376
2004 358 2012 396
2005 376 2013 372
2006 432 2014 367
2007 486    

Records of all jail interviews are kept and the average number of clients supervised monthly is approximately 110.

For the Year 2014

963  defendants were interviewed by MCPTS

407 defendants interviewed were court ordered to be supervised by MCPTS

80   average interviews per month

19    average interviews per week

PRETRIAL OFFICER RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Jail Interviews (24 hour holds)
  • Background Investigations
  • Notify Agencies & Courts via email or fax
  • Prepare to Receive New Clients
  • Client Case Management
  • Maintain Communication of Client Progress with Court – Prosecutors – and Defense Attorneys, Filing Non-Compliance Reports as Necessary
  • Court Appearances and Testimony at Arraignments and Revocation Hearings

Pretrial Services has an operating staff of 6 officers, the Director, three (3) Case Managers, one (1) Jail / Court Liaison officer and an officer assigned to field investigations.

Case managers and the Field Investigator are deputized sheriffs with arrest authority.

Master Licensed Alcohol & Drug Counselor Referrals

       Referrals Purpose is to make an assessment of the presence of substance abuse disorder.

The Court may order a defendant in a screening to determine the presence of a substance use disorder, and make appropriate recommendations and referrals for treatment. The client is court ordered to follow all LADC recommendations.

Although the screening involves assessing the presence of a substance use disorder, it is not to be confused with a full biopsychosocial Substance Evaluation.

Screening may consists of:

  • Clinical Interview
  • MAST / DAST: Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test
  • ASAM Patient Placement Criteria
  • Collateral information obtained through other sources

After the screening, referrals and/or recommendations are made by the LADC, clients are then monitored for compliance by Pretrial Services Staff.

ANGER MANAGEMENT BATTERERS INTERVENTION

Referrals

The court may order that a defendant be screened for Anger Management/Batterers Intervention and follow all recommendations thereof.

The counselor contact information is provided at the client’s initial intake interview, it is the responsibility of the client to call and make an appointment for an Anger Screening. Note: small fee is paid by the client.

The recommendations of the Clinician are strictly monitored for client compliance. Case Manager’s reports to the court, prosecution, and defense attorneys client progress.