Fifth Judicial District - Department of Correctional Services

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TITLE: Ptr Introductory Philosophy And Mission

INTRODUCTION

It has been the general practice in Iowa to require a cash bond to assure the appearance of a defendant in court or release the defendant on his or her own recognizance when it appeared to the Court the arrestee would be likely to appear without a bond. Many defendants fit neither category, unable to post bond nor possessing the appearance of stability. The Bail Reform Act improved the situation and made bond requirements more equitable. Still, financial ability has continued to play a major part in whether or not a defendant is released pending trial. Studies have determined a large percentage of those arrested will appear without the posting of a cash bond. The practice of release on recognizance has been expanded to include a number of stabilizing factors not tied to financial status. In an attempt to improve the equity of pre-conviction release, Pre-trial services seek to assist the Court in identifying the minimum safe conditions of release for each defendant.

MISSION STATEMENT

The Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services will provide verified information to the Court on all eligible new defendants, as defined by District policy. This information will include a recommendation regarding the conditions of release, which will reasonably assure the appearance of the defendant and provide for the personal safety of others. If release is to the custody of the District, Court approved supervision will be provided.

GOALS

  1. Provide verified information to the Court on all eligible new defendants, as defined by District policy.
  2. Provide supervision to all defendants released from jail to the custody of the District.

OBJECTIVES

  1. Provide verified information to the Court on all eligible new defendants, as defined by District policy.
    1. Pre-Trial Interviewers or assigned staff shall conduct interviews within the Fifth Judicial District with all eligible new defendants as defined by District policy, without unnecessary delay.

      Note: Throughout the Pre-Trial policy, a Probation/Parole Officer or assigned staff will be referred to as "staff"

    2. .
    3. Information gathered from the defendant shall be verified by contacting references given by the defendant, checking criminal records, etc., to assess the defendant.
    4. A staff shall develop a recommendation regarding release, and, if released to the custody of the District, conditions of release shall be approved.
      1. Provide supervision to all defendants released from jail to the custody of the District.
      2. The defendant shall receive a copy of his/her Bond Conditions outlining the expectations and requirements of Pre-trial supervision.
      3. In the Region, staff shall make pre-screening forms available to all jails that hold individuals over twelve hours.
        1. With cooperation from jail staff, the form will be given to individuals who are being held in lieu of bond for pending offenses of serious misdemeanors or above within twenty-four (24) hours.
        2. Upon the defendant's completion of the pre-screening form, the jail staff shall submit the completed form to the Pre-trial staff as soon as possible, either by fax or in person. After reviewing the pre-screening form, reviewing information from ICON, NCIC, and local records, the Pre-trial staff will determine if the defendant is eligible to be interviewed for Pre-trial Release. If the defend
        3. ant is eligible, a Pre-trial Release interview shall take place without unnecessary delay.
      4. Information from the Pre-trial interview shall be entered into ICON as defined by the ICON Business Rules.
      5. Policies contained in the Pre-Trial Release section of the Policy Manual shall be reviewed and updated annually to accommodate Legislative and Judicial changes. Input shall be sought from Law Enforcement and the County Attorney's Office regarding any change in their policies which may have an effect on Pre-trial Release.
      6. Any major revisions of the Pre-trial Release program in an effort to improve it's quality and services shall be done by a committee with representatives from Pre-trial Release, the Legislature, the Judiciary, County Attorney's Office, Defense Attorney's/Public Defender's Office, Law Enforcement, the Jail and community resource providers. This committee shall develop desired outcomes and a specific process for evaluation to determine achievement of those outcomes.
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