The Pretrial Services Division performs two primary functions for the court: 1) conducting assessments for defendants prior to bond hearings or during the trial process to gather information that will assist the court in making decisions about bond and, if applicable, about the conditions of pretrial release; and 2) providing pretrial supervision, which allows defendants to be monitored in the community while awaiting trial. These services are provided to enhance the criminal justice system’s ability to use the least restrictive means possible to ensure a defendant’s appearance in court and to protect public safety, while reserving the economically and socially costly use of jail for only those cases in which it is necessary. 

Officers assigned to pre-bond assessment duties are responsible for conducting thorough criminal background checks; scoring a risk assessment tool based on a defendant's criminal history; interviewing defendants (to gather information regarding employment, residence, living arrangements, family information, substance use problems, military record, and mental health issues); verifying interview information where applicable; generating and presenting interview and risk assessment reports to the court; and recording relevant information from the court proceedings. 

Officers assigned to pretrial supervision duties have a number of tasks including the following: conduct regularly scheduled meetings with defendants at which officers are to address the conditions of bond; attempt to verify address, employment, school, and compliance with conditions; follow-up on any supervision strategies and discuss the need for new strategies; conduct criminal record checks; remind defendants of their scheduled court dates; and provide the court with status reports regarding the a defendant's compliance with conditions of release. 

The Pretrial Services Division also provides supervision for individuals ordered to Cook County’s Deferred Prosecution Program. This program diverts first-time, non-violent defendants into twelve-month pre-indictment supervision.  Conditions of the program typically include reporting to a pretrial services officer, completing community service, participating in educational/vocational programming, and paying victim restitution.  Officers work with the court team by making referrals, monitoring conditions, and providing status reports at all court hearings. The participant’s criminal charges are dropped if the participant satisfactorily complies with the program’s requirements.

Copyright 2016 by Circuit Court of Cook County