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Pretrial Release Program

Overview

The Montgomery County Pretrial Release Program services the Montgomery County Criminal Courts based upon the laws of New York State. Specifically Section 510.30 of the Criminal Procedure Law REQUIRES the criminal court to consider the kind or degree of control that is necessary to secure court attendance.

Article 510 provides the legal parameter that a judge should employ when determining a release of a criminal defendant.

The NYS Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives establishes the Pretrial Release Standards.  These standards promote consistency of services and support the importance of Pretrial services and court release decision-making. The delivery of these services for the local criminal courts increases fairness and equity within our courts.

Program Eligibility Guidelines

Eligible inmates for the courts consideration are reported to the court following verification of interview information provided by defendant. Screening and interview process may also be delivered on site at time of court appearance of a said criminal defendant.

Criminal court defendants (16+ years of age) to include those individuals with mental and physical disabilities or language barriers, having been charged with Penal Laws/Vehicle Traffic Law offenses within the jurisdiction of the Montgomery County Courts may be eligible for Pretrial Release Services.

Universal screening is performed at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility to determine program eligibility for the interview process.

Arrest information provided by our local correctional facility/courtroom staff is “screened” to determine if said defendant must be ruled ineligible by law, for future program services (e.g. federal detainees, those actively serving a period of state probation, state parole detainees, Interstate Compact violators, detainees with history of failure to appear for scheduled court appearances, history of escape from custody, active wants/warrants, residential category of “homeless” with no ties to the immediate area, held in custody on a NO BAIL status).

Following the screening process, eligible defendants may be afforded the opportunity to be interviewed using the universal points scale. Having met the minimum points required, the process of “verification” of information provided begins. Verified information is then communicated to the court of jurisdiction to assist the court in making an informed release decision.


Benefits

Pretrial Release benefits both County Jail and State Prison. In 2008, there were 99 clients that were utilizing the program. Of the total clients, 82 were newly released and 17 were cases carried over from 2007. Total county jail days saved were 6,024 with a cost savings to Montgomery County of $512,040.00, based on the daily cost of county jail time of $85.00. While the total New York State Prison days saved were 5,604 with a cost savings of $400,440.00.

The total savings using our Pretrial Release Program for 2008 were $912,480.00.


 

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