Pretrial Intake & Supervised Release
Intake Services- Pretrial Inmates
The primary function of Pretrial Services is to provide information that will assist the court in determining release eligibility and setting release conditions pursuant to Maryland Rule 4-216 and Criminal Procedure Article 5-202. Toward this end, Investigators conduct one-on-one interviews with defendants to obtain information on residence, family and community ties, employment, substance abuse, criminal record, and failures to appear. Independent verification is sought from references named by the defendant and others who may possess relevant knowledge, including parole and probation agents. If the defendant is charged with failing to appear, Pretrial attempts to verify the reported reason to determine if willful. Full criminal history information is accessed through all available computer information systems.
Recommendation – Pretrial assesses the likelihood of appearance at future court proceedings by weighing the information gathered and developing release recommendations accordingly. As called for in ABA and National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies Standards, recommendations are based on objective criteria in the form of a point scale. As also required by release standards, Pretrial does not factor the current charge or dangerousness into its recommendation, instead focusing solely on risk of non-appearance. The issue of danger or pretrial misconduct is left to the Court to weigh based on defense and prosecution arguments and in accordance with Rule 4-216.
Pretrial recommends release under non-financial conditions or 10% bail. This position is based on the aforementioned standards, which discourage monetary conditions unless determined that no other conditions will assure appearance. Program policy precludes recommendations in cases where the defendant is charged with crime of violence as defined in Maryland Annotated Code, Criminal Law Article, Title 14, Section 101, though the full background report is provided to the Court.
Report – Pretrial Investigators summarize verified information and release recommendations for oral report to the court at bail hearings. Convictions, PBJs, Failure to Appear, detainers, probation compliance, PSRU compliance, and pending charges are reported from criminal history information.
Monday - Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Pretrial Supervised Release
The Court has the option of ordering supervised release as an alternative to monetary bail or unsupervised personal recognizance. Defendants granted supervised release are placed in one of five levels of supervision based on their risk of failure to appear and pretrial misconduct as determined using an objective point scale, and/or as ordered by the Court. All defendants on supervised release are required to comply with general conditions of release, special conditions of release are designed to address individual risk, and maintain regular contact with Pretrial Services as ordered.
Defendants assigned to Supervision Level 1 check in by telephone once per week by way of a state-of-the-art automated voice response system. This system provides both English and Spanish translation. Defendants check in by entering an identification number on a touch-tone phone. In the event the defendant fails to call on his/her assigned day, the computer system starts phoning his/her home during evening hours until contact is made. Personal contact between a defendant and staff may be achieved when desired by either party. The automated system also reminds defendants of court dates with every call and allows them to verify them any time they wish. Additionally, the system calls defendants daily once the trial or hearing date is within three days, and case monitoring staff sends written reminders.
At the other end of the supervision spectrum is Level V, which is only applied when ordered by the Court. Defendants assigned to Level V are on house arrest while awaiting trial.
The intermediate levels of supervision, level II, III and IV involve assignment to a Case Manager who is responsible for enforcing all conditions of release, including telephone and in-person contact, urinalysis, and substance abuse treatment. The higher the supervision level, the greater the contact requirements and restrictions.
Failure to comply with conditions of release are reported to the Court.
Commissioner Referral – Pretrial offers District Court Commissioners the option of releasing defendants to Pretrial’s Supervised Release Unit. Defendants released by Commissioners are directed to report to Pretrial Services for intake and assignment to a supervision level the following business day.