Last Updated: 2009-08-20

Division of Adult Pretrial Services

The mission of the Division of Adult Pretrial is to provide information to judicial officers to assist with bail determination and to provide supervision as ordered by the judicial officer that will promote public safety and court appearance. These efforts are intended to honor the constitutional presumption of innocence, provide protection for the community, assist in fair administration of justice, and to promote equitable treatment of defendants.

Jail-based Screening and Interviewing: Pretrial Officers conducts screenings at the Richmond City Jail Annex (Lock Up) by reviewing commitment reports on defendants admitted to jail awaiting trial to determine their eligibility for pretrial investigation. Upon completion of the screening process, a pretrial officer meets with the defendant face-to-face to gather background information for the purpose of assessing suitability and risk of release.

Risk Assessment: A standardized, evidence-based, objective, research assessment is conducted on each defendant meeting the criteria for investigation. This assessment identifies the likelihood of failure to appear in court and the danger to the community posed by a defendant pending trial.

Recommendation: The results of the risk assessment, along with other supporting factors, are provided to judicial officers as part of the complete pretrial investigation report to assist them in making bail determination decisions. Suggested recommendations by the pretrial officer include continued detention, same bond, personal recognizance bond, and pretrial supervision.

Supervision/Case Management: The goal of pretrial supervision is to ensure that the defendant returns to Court and remains crime-free while under supervision. This is accomplished by maintaining close personal contact with defendants and making referrals to treatment, education or support services when ordered by the court as a bail condition. Defendants are required to adhere to conditions of supervision. Noncompliance is reported to the court and a defendant’s bail is subject to revocation.

Substance Abuse Screening: Pretrial Officers administer the Simple Screening Instrument (SSI) on Court placements. This is an initial screening tool that elicits the probability of a substance abuse problem and indicates when further assessment for substance abuse may be necessary.

Substance Abuse Testing: State of the art random drug and alcohol testing is provided to defendants placed on supervision, utilizing Seiman’s Viva E Analyzer. The analyzer has the capability to test up to 51 samples at one time for multiple substances; including cocaine, opiate, marijuana, alcohol, methamphetamines, and benzodiazepines. The results of those tests can be provided to the offender within 10-12 minutes. Moreover, the drug testing capability is enhanced and augmented by utilizing a “color code” random drug screening methodology whereby defendants are assigned to a color based upon the nature of their offense and the severity of drug use. The randomness of testing in conjunction with the accuracy of the analyzer proves valuable as a deterrent to drug use.

Random Drug/Alcohol Testing: The Division of Adult Pretrial conducts random drug testing whereby defendants are assigned to a color based upon the conditions of the court, the nature of their offense, or the severity of drug use. Samples are processed using a state-of-the art drug testing analyzer that has the capability to test up to 51 samples at one time for multiple substances including cocaine, opiate, marijuana, alcohol, methamphetamines, and benzodiazepines. The randomness of testing in conjunction with the accuracy of the analyzer proves valuable as a deterrent to drug use.

Home Electronic Monitoring(HEM): Home incarceration with electronic monitoring is combined with pretrial supervision is utilized when imposed by the Court to monitor curfew restriction. Use of this tool enhances supervision capabilities and is a highly restrictive form of supervision in the lieu of jail confinement. In partnership with the Richmond Sheriff's Office, HEM has a 24-hour surveillance capability.

For more information on pretrial services, please call 646-8955.

Contact Information:

Department of Justice Services
City of Richmond
730 E. Broad Street, 8th Floor
Richmond, VA
23219 USA
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Phone: (804)646-5987
Fax: (804)646-3269

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