Since 1981, the Pre-Trial Services (PTS) Program has helped to reduce jail over-crowding and costs at the Polk County jails. The overall goal of the program is to return to society those individuals who, with a high degree of certainty, will return to court at the specified time, thus helping to ease jail overcrowding.
PTS screens newly arrested defendants prior to their first appearance hearings. PTS interviewers are present at the county jails twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, to meet the detainees, review their arrest histories, and make recommendations to the Court regarding their detention or release. The second function of PTS is to complete background investigations on defendants prior to their first appearance hearings. PTS investigations are useful tools judges use to make decisions in the matters before them.
After release into the program, PTS is responsible for monitoring defendants to ensure they meet the conditions of their release. Conditions of release often include the defendant attending educational programs such as anger management or domestic violence classes; participating in random urinalysis to monitor drug/alcohol use; undergoing psychological evaluations; or restrictions such as curfews and house arrest with GPS Monitoring. Additionally, all PTS defendants are required to check in periodically with PTS staff.
In 1997, PTS implemented a new program to track and reschedule court dates for released defendants who failed to appear at their arraignment. The PTS Defendant Tracker Program uses various investigative methods including information sharing with other agencies, to handle the tracking of nearly 500 cases each month. For more information on Pre-Trial Services, please call 863-534-4617.