Monroe County, Indiana

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Pretrial Services Program

The Indiana Supreme Court adopted Criminal Rule 26 in September 2016 which created the rule that all inmates must be released on bond or recognizance unless they present a risk of flight or danger to themselves or others. Criminal Rule 26 was the start of implementing pretrial services in Indiana.

The Monroe County Pretrial Services Program began on October 1, 2016 as one of 11 Indiana counties who participated in the Indiana Pretrial Pilot Project, part of Indiana's Evidence-Based Decision Making (EBDM) initiative in partnership with the National Institute of Corrections (NIC). The goals of the project were to provide Indiana policymakers information on the effect of pretrial risk assessment on release decisions and the effect of supervision and notification systems on defendants’ return to court and pretrial conduct.

INDIANA PRETRIAL SERVICES

Indiana’s pretrial system strives to achieve the "3 M’s" – maximizing public safety, maximizing court appearance, and maximizing pretrial release. Additionally, Indiana’s pretrial system follows these guiding principles:

1. Fairness. A pretrial system that is fair is not based on ability to pay (bond and supervision fees), but instead is based on the assessment of objective factors relevant to public safety and court appearance.

2. Harm reduction. A pretrial system that reduces harm protects the public from those who pose a danger to the community while reducing the detention of those whose risk to public safety may actually be increased as a result of pretrial detention.

3. Informed. A pretrial system that is informed is guided by social science research along with comprehensive case-specific information.

4. Cost-effectiveness. A pretrial system that is cost-effective reserves expensive jail resources for those who pose a danger to public safety and utilizes non-detention-based interventions, including pretrial supervision, for those who can be safely managed in the community.

STATE CERTIFICATION

In December 2019 the Board of Directors of the Judicial Conference of Indiana adopted the Pretrial Services Rules (effective January 1, 2020), forming the basis for voluntary certification for Indiana counties implementing pretrial best practices. The Monroe County Pretrial Services Program was certified by the Indiana Office of Court Services September 29, 2020.

MISSION:

The Mission of the Monroe County Pretrial Services Program is to assist the court in making pretrial release decisions that are prompt and equitable for all defendants regardless of their ability to pay a monetary bond. The Pretrial Services Program will provide information to the court that will maximize the court’s ability to determine effective release conditions that promote community safety and provide appropriate monitoring to support a defendant’s ability to meet court obligations.         

SERVICES:

The Monroe County Pretrial Services Program provides monitoring of defendants who have been released from incarceration and makes referrals to appropriate programs or services in the community. The goals of the program are to ensure that defendants appear for scheduled court hearings and to assist defendants in addressing areas of need to decrease the likelihood of future criminal behavior, specifically during the pretrial period. Pretrial Officers meet with defendants upon release from incarceration to complete an orientation where the expectations of monitoring are reviewed.

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