Thursday, October 18, 2018 - 11:02pm

Pre-Trial Services

The Pre-Trial Services (PTS) Program was established to help reduce the overcrowding of the Polk County Jail system. The overall goal of this program is to allow defendants who meet specific legal criteria to be released from the Polk County Jail and allowed to reside in their communities throughout the pretrial and trial process. The ability of a defendant to be granted Pre-Trial Release is determined by a judge. While on Pre-Trial Release supervision, defendants are supervised by Pre-Trial Services staff. As long as the defendants comply with all court-ordered conditions, they will be allowed to remain on Pre-Trial Release until the final disposition of their case.

If the judge grants Pre-Trial Release at a defendant’s First Appearance or other court hearing, the defendant is provided a copy of his or her Order Granting Pre-Trial Release before he or she is released from the Polk County Jail. Polk County Sheriff’s Office detention personnel instruct all defendants placed on Pre-Trial Release to report to the Pre-trial Services Office upon their release. Any and all questions pertaining to each defendant’s specific pre-trial release conditions will be discussed and answered at the Pre-Trial Services office with the understanding the conditions of release must be followed or a warrant will be issued for the defendant’s arrest. Conditions of release often include participating in random urinalysis to monitor drug/alcohol use; restrictions such as having no contact with alleged victim(s), abiding by curfews and house arrest with Global Positioning System (GPS) Monitoring.

Pre-Trial Services has a Defendant Tracker Program in which the Defendant Tracker tracks and reschedules traffic, misdemeanor and felony court dates for released defendants who fail to appear at their arraignment hearing. Although the Defendant Tracker sets up a new court date, the active warrant shall remain outstanding until the defendant shows up for their scheduled court date. To ensure that the ongoing caseload of nearly 500 defendants is accurately tracked, the Defendant Tracker utilizes various investigative methods, such as information sharing across other agencies’ databases.

Video Remote Interviewing for Pre-Trial Services

In October of 2017, Pre-Trial Services implemented state-of-the-art remote interviewing procedures that have streamlined the way we conduct our inmate screening procedures. We began interviewing inmates via video remote instead of in person and it has proven to be a great success. Accordingly, our interviewing staff is no longer physically located within the booking facility of the Polk County Jail, we are now based in the Polk County Courthouse. Our interviewers now conduct face-to-face interviews with inmates via a remote video chat process and receive all of the arresting documents remotely through the Polk County Sheriff’s Office website WEBQ. Regarding direct communication with Polk County Jail staff, we accomplish this in several different ways. We employ a hotline and board set up to speak with the detention deputies and we communicate with the booking clerks telephonically and by email. In addition to screening inmates for release into our Pre-Trial Release program, we are also required to clear (verify the release eligibility of) all inmates booked into the county jail. Utilizing the Guardian system, we are able to provide the booking clerks at the jail 24-hour remote access to review our findings regarding all inmates’ release eligibility.

Contact Information

Phone: (863) 534 - 4617

Fax: (863) 534 - 2170

Staff

Director, Pre-Trial Services
Phil Silverstein
psilverstein@jud10.flcourts.org

Defendant Tracker
Caleb Pickles
cpickles@jud10.flcourts.org

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(863) 534 - 4686

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