LEE COUNTY PRETRIAL SERVICES
Welcome to the Lee County Pretrial Services Website for the Twentieth Judicial Circuit of Florida.
INTRODUCTION & PROGRAM GOALS
The Lee County Pretrial Services Department began as a program under the Administrative Office of the Courts, 20th Judicial Circuit, in 1988. Pretrial Services provides case management support to the 13 judges assigned to the criminal division in Lee County, along with the Chief Judge and Administrative Circuit Judge. The mission of Pretrial Services is "To provide comprehensive case management services to the Judiciary, from case inception to case disposition, via professional staff committed to the highest standards of excellence."
The Lee County Pretrial Services Department gained accreditation in June of 2009 through the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission. Lee County is one of only four agencies in the state to be accredited. Accreditation has long been recognized as a means of maintaining the highest standards of professionalism, increasing the integrity of the criminal justice process and the agency's role. Accreditation allowed for independent verification of business practices, increasing agency accountability while ensuring the agency is utilizing best practices resulting in the most efficient and effective operations.
The department is composed of three units, which include the Intake and Investigation Unit, the Pretrial Supervision and Misdemeanor Diversion Unit and the Case Management Unit. The management team includes the deputy criminal justice director who oversees the entire department operations, the administrative services supervisor who oversees program development, training and accreditation, an administrative assistant who provides direct managerial support and supervises office management clerical staff and five pretrial supervisors assigned to specific units within the department.
The Intake and Investigation Unit is a twenty-four hour, seven day a week operation, working around the clock to interview defendants booked into the Lee County Jail. The primary functions of the Intake and Investigation Unit include the collection, verification and investigation of demographic and criminal history information, the assessment of risk and need for every booked defendant, the determination of indigence for appointment of counsel and the presentation of this compiled information to the First Appearance Judge to aid in the release decision. Pretrial officers also continuously review all non-sentenced incarcerated defendants, prior to arraignment, so that appropriate, non-violent misdemeanor cases are placed on a jail management docket for potential release from custody or early resolution of the case.
The Pretrial Supervision and Misdemeanor Diversion Unit supervises defendants released on pretrial supervision, monitoring these cases from arrest to disposition. Court ordered conditions such as no contact orders, random drug and alcohol screens and counseling are enforced. Defendants may be referred to diversionary programs as well as outside agencies, when appropriate. Status updates and violations are reported to the courts regularly. Court dates are also confirmed with defendants on supervision in an effort to decrease failure to appear rates.
Misdemeanor diversion was established to allow first time offenders an opportunity to have their case dismissed if specified conditions, set forth by the State Attorney's Office, are met. Pretrial officers meet with defendants to review Deferred Prosecution Agreements and explain conditions and consequences of success or failure, after ensuring eligibility for the program. Each case is monitored continuously, encouraging success through mandatory appointments, reminder letters and utilizing a community service option in lieu of costs of supervision. If successful, the State Attorney's Office is notified to dismiss the cases and discontinue further court proceedings.
Felony Drug Court focuses on the individual adult offender charged with non-violent felony crimes. The goal is to break the cycle of addiction, reduce the rate of recidivism, improve life management skills and restore the individual to be a productive member of society. Pretrial Services serves as the main point of contact for referrals, researching criminal history, screening for eligibility and arranging for or confirming that initial assessments by a clinician have been completed. A pretrial officer attends staffing and court regularly to inform the court of defendants’ progress, to include treatment updates, previous court outcomes and previous sanctions and/or rewards provided.
The Case Management Unit monitors cases at each stage as they move through the judicial system in an effort to ensure on time disposition of cases. Case events are tracked and caseload status updates are provided to the court. These updates include pending caseload data, age of pending caseloads and identified delayed cases. Key goals are to ensure meaningful court events, increase dispositions against filings and improve early disposition rates. Pretrial officers attend all felony arraignments, case management conferences, pretrial conferences and trial calls to assist with the scheduling of cases, documentation of court events and tracking of continuances. Pretrial officers also serve as a liaison between the offices of the State Attorney's Office, Public Defender's Office, private bar, Lee County Clerk of Court, Lee County Sheriff's Office, and other various agencies, to facilitate case progression.
If you would like to apply for the services of a public defender or are indigent and need help with attorney's fees, please complete the Application for Criminal Indigent Status form and follow the attached instructions.
Lee County Pretrial Services Management Team:
Criminal Division Director
Deputy Criminal Division Director
Administrative Services Supervisor/Case Management
Administrative Assistant/Clerical Supervisor
Intake & Investigation Unit Supervisors
Elizabeth Khin & Nicholas Stevens
Case Supervision Unit Supervisor