Pretrial Services - Mission and Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles

  • Guiding Principle One: The Constitutional Presumption of Innocence

    The constitutional presumption of innocence of the pretrial defendant should lead to the least restrictive release consistent with community safety and return to court; and preventive detention only as a last resort based on a judicial determination of the risk of non-appearance in court and/or danger to any person or to the community.

  • Guiding Principle Two: Non-Financial Conditions of Release

    Non-financial conditional release, based on the history, characteristics, and reliability of the defendant, is more effective than financial release conditions. Reliance on money bail discriminates against indigent defendants and cannot effectively address the need for release conditions that protect the public.

  • Guiding Principle Three: Pro-Social Interventions

    Pro-social interventions that address substance abuse, employment, housing, medical, educational, and mental health issues afford defendants the opportunity for personal improvement and decrease the likelihood of criminal behavior.

  • Guiding Principle Four: Innovation, Effective Use of Technology, and the Development of Human Capital

    Innovation, effective use of technology, and the development of human capital lead to organizational excellence, transparency, high professional and ethical standards, and accountability to the public.