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Pre-trial Services

The purpose of the Vermont Pretrial Services Program is to support a person with a

mental health and/or substance use need to quickly connect them to treatment supports during the pretrial

period. Pretrial Service Coordinators assist defendants in meeting conditions of release imposed by the

court, including conditions to appear for judicial proceedings.

Eligible population

Any person charged with an offense, other than a person charged with an offense that requires

registration as a sex offender or for an offense punishable by a term of life imprisonment, is eligible.

A person engages with pretrial services monitoring following a court order to do so. A person may

also choose to engage (self-referral). Typically, a self-referral is initiated by a defense attorney.

A person who was had previously engaged with Pretrial Monitoring may continue to work with

Pretrial Service coordinator following designation as a Youthful Offender in Family Division.

Role of Pretrial Service Coordinators

Pretrial Service Coordinators do not

  • Share information beyond what is allowed by statute.

  • Discuss the legal aspects of the case with a defendant.

  • Pretrial Service Coordinators may discuss with the person the elements of the incident that

     relate to the person’s needs but do not talk about any legal aspects of the person’s case,

     including how the case may be prosecuted.

Pretrial Service Coordinators do the following:

  • Obtain signed releases to communicate with treatment and other community-based providers. 

  • Release is not needed to speak with a defendant’s defense attorney.

  • Verify all information given to them by the person before providing it to the court, the

     prosecutor and the defense attorney.

  • Share information allowed by statute with all parties even in the case of a self-referral.

  • Assist people with access to supportive community-based services.

  • Make attempts to accommodate the individual needs of the person by meeting with them in a

     public place closer to work or home.

  • Help to address transportation needs.

  • Remind people of their court hearing dates and appointments with treatment providers.

  • Give honest feedback to the person about their current level of engagement with pretrial

     services and treatment.

For more information contact Alicia@fgirjc.org