Pretrial Services is a program used by the Putnam County Courts to reduce the number of individuals sitting in jail while they wait for their trial date. Our program saves approximately $35 per day per detainee who is in the Program; improves the rate of court appearances; and enhances overall public safety. The program uses the Indiana Risk Assessment System (IRAS–PAT) to determine the risk level of each person charged with a crime. IRAS is a statewide program initiated by the Indiana Supreme Court. The result of the assessment is used by the judges when deciding if detainees should be released while awaiting trial or if detainees should remain in jail. The Judge overseeing the defendant’s case may order them to the program. Once in the Program, one of our Pretrial Officers will assist the defendant in connecting to necessary resources, help the defendant abide by court orders, and make sure he/she appears at all their scheduled court dates.
After an adult offender is sentenced in court to probation, court supervision, or conditional discharge, they are to report to the probation department immediately unless they are incarcerated and then they are to report to the probation department immediately upon release from jail. If the adult offender is not currently on supervision or probation, an appointment with an intake officer will be scheduled to begin the intake process. If the adult offender has been placed on probation, the intake process will consist of the intake officer meeting with the probationer for office visits to review the conditions of their order, review the rules while on probation, sign up for Norchem, complete a payment agreement, obtain DNA sample, and complete a Columbia Suicide Screener. Once the intake process has been completed by the intake officer, the client’s case will be assigned to a line officer who will monitor the offender’s progress and meet with them during the term of their probation.
When a person is convicted of a crime, the trial judge may order probation. Adult Probation is responsible for supervising adults on court-ordered probation and monitoring their compliance with the conditions set forth by the court. The Putnam County Court has established standard conditions of probation for adult offenders.
The Judicial Conference of Indiana requires probation departments to classify supervisions and measure probation officer workloads according to the Indiana Case Classification and Workload Measures System (https://www.in.gov/judiciary/probation/files/prob-standards-workload.pdf)
A system of regular meetings between assigned probation officers and probationers serves a number of purposes. It holds the probationer to the level of accountability associated with their risk of re-offending while on probation; it provides the means for officers to obtain updated information about the probationer, and it affords the opportunity to address relevant issues with the probationers. The Adult Probation Supervision Unit has three levels of supervision: High, Medium, and Low. Offenders who succeed while under High or Medium supervision may be transferred to Low-Risk supervision. Offenders who fail to comply with their terms of supervision may be switched to a higher level of supervision. Probation officers also complete Presentence Investigations (PSIs) for the Court. The Presentence Investigation Report contributes to a timely, fair, and consistent sentencing process. Probation officers provide a full written investigation which includes: the circumstances of a criminal offense; a defendant’s criminal record; the defendant’s personal history, present condition, and living environment; and sentence recommendations. The investigation report assists the court by providing information that is relevant to the sentencing decision and by presenting sentencing options that give the offender an opportunity to achieve positive changes through integrated supervision, treatment, and sanction strategies. As part of the presentence investigation, victims are given the opportunity to inform the sentencing court how they have been affected by the crime committed against them and are provided ongoing information during and after sentencing. The PSI report is provided to the defendant, the Prosecutor, and the Court and is a resource that is available to other agencies as provided by Indiana law.
ENHANCED SUPERVISION UNIT
Specialized caseloads provide specialized supervision for high-risk and high-need offenders. This department has developed the Enhanced Supervision Unit (ESU) to most effectively supervise these types of offenders.
The ESU provides supervision to offenders who have been identified as needing a higher level of community supervision and/or who are in need of specialized services. The ESU primarily supervises two specialized caseloads:
- Violent and High-Risk caseload
- Sex Offender caseload
Violent and High-Risk Caseload – Offenders who are extremely high risk with histories of violent or assaultive offenses are assigned to this caseload. The focus of this caseload is to facilitate offender behavioral change through mandated participation in intervention counseling, alcohol and drug treatment or other interventions as appropriate. Frequent contact is made with families, employers, and treatment agencies that address substance abuse and anger management. Probation officers provide intensive community-based supervision for offenders to improve safety for victims of violence.
Sex Offender Caseload – This unit supervises those offenders required by law to register as sex offenders. Probation officers providing supervision are trained in areas of supervision of sex offenders, sex offender treatment, and the state registration program. The supervising officers of these offenders have frequent contact with offenders’ sex offender therapists and numerous contacts with the offenders each month in the office and at home and work. The primary focus of the sex offender caseload is to enhance community safety, protect existing victims, prevent further victimization, preclude new criminal activities and enforce strict compliance with the conditions of supervision established by the Court. In addition to the Standard Conditions of Probation, the Court utilizes special probation conditions for sex offenders.
ALCOHOL AND DRUG UNIT
Putnam County Courts provides IC 12-23-14 court-administered alcohol and drug services to persons who are ordered by the court to participate in the program. The Probation Department’s Alcohol and Drug Unit (PCADU) is an integral part of the department and provides assessment, referral, and monitoring of offenders convicted of alcohol and drug related offenses. The Alcohol and Drug Program is certified by the Indiana Judicial Center. All adult probation officers within the department maintain a Certified Substance Abuse Management Specialist (CSAMS) credential.
Following the completion of the substance abuse evaluation, the case manager develops an individualized service plan for each offender. This service plan typically includes a referral to a substance abuse education or treatment program. The case manager and/or probation officer then monitors the probationer’s compliance with the terms of substance abuse education or treatment.