Pretrial Services

Pretrial Services
Windsor County Pretrial Services is a new alternative to a traditional criminal justice response to eligible misdemeanor or felony charges. Every county in Vermont provides Pretrial Services in accordance with Vermont Act 195 (view at  http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/13/229/07554c). Individuals cited or arrested in Windsor County may volunteer to be screened by the Pretrial Monitor based in White River Junction prior to their first appearance in court. They may speak with a lawyer first.

 How does it work?
The Pretrial Monitor offers potential participants three confidential assessments focusing on mental health, substance use, and risk of non-appearance or threat to public safety. The specific details of the assessments will not be shared with the prosecutor or the court. The State’s Attorney (prosecutor) may review a summary of the results, and may recommend a case for the precharge program. The Judge may consider a summary of the results in determining bail or conditions of release.

 Precharge Program
The State’s Attorney might review the screening results and offer participants the opportunity to take part in a program that does not involve filing the case with the court. The participant would sign a contract accepting responsibility for the alleged criminal conduct. Terms of the contract could include clinical mental health and substance use disorder assessments and/or treatment, participation in alternative justice programs, and/or restitution. Under this program, the Pretrial Monitor may refer participants to appropriate support services and send progress reports to the State’s Attorney.

 Conditions of Release
If the State’s Attorney files the case with the court, the Judge may use the results of the screenings in determining bail and conditions of release. Conditions may include clinical mental health and/or substance use disorder assessments. The Pretrial Monitor may refer participants to appropriate support services, and send reminders of court appearance dates. 

 Ellen Wicklum
Windsor County Pretrial Monitor
211 N. Main St., PO Box 474
White River Jct., VT 05001
802-299-0156
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