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CHARLOTTE COUNTY PRETRIAL SERVICES

Welcome to the Charlotte County Pretrial Services Website for the Twentieth Judicial Circuit of Florida.

LOCATION

Charlotte County Justice Center

350 East Marion Avenue
Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Phone: (941) 637-2116
Fax: (941) 505-4865

HOURS OF OPERATION

Monday through Friday: 7:30 am to 4:30 pm
Saturday and Sunday: CLOSED
Note: Office is closed on all COURT holidays
2019 COURT Holidays   •  2019 WEEKEND POLYCOM  

Department's Mission Statement

Charlotte County Pretrial Services is committed to providing efficient and effective services to the Twentieth Judicial Circuit and the Administrative Office of the Courts. The mission of the Charlotte County Pretrial Services Department is to provide quality and timely information to the criminal courts, which will support the judicial decision to release or detain at the earliest feasible opportunity. Our efforts are intended to promote equitable treatment of the accused, to provide protection for the community, to assist in the fair administration of justice, to comply with Florida statutes, rules and regulations, and to reduce in-custody costs. As a team, we promote a professional environment for the effective supervision of defendants by fostering their personal growth and assuring their compliance with the supervised release conditions.

Department's Vision

We strive to exemplify the highest ideals and standards in community corrections, which include the pursuit of excellence through a supportive network that encourages empowerment, motivation, leadership and individuality.

Beliefs

As members of the Charlotte County Pretrial Services Department, we believe:

  • In the right of all persons to be treated with dignity and fairness.
  • In our role of ensuring that the court is provided with quality information vital to making appropriate pretrial release decisions and imposing just and fair sentences.
  • In the protection of the public as the most vital aspect of community supervision and in proper supervision as the best means to control and reduce risk.
  • In the ability of people to change and in our responsibility to provide quality and effective supervision to those defendants who are released on Pretrial supervision.
  • In individual commitment to a shared vision as the best way to achieve our mission.
Department's Core Aims
  • Empower and encourage employees to reach their maximum professional potential.
  • Constantly strive to improve the quality of our products (work process) and services through teamwork and cooperation.
  • Promote and maintain a positive work environment built on professionalism, mutual respect, open communication and trust.

The Pretrial Services Department is comprised of 4 units; an intake and investigation unit; a diversion unit; a case management unit; and pretrial release/court unit. The department also has a specialty court coordinator.

Intake and Investigation

Intake and Investigation Unit is a seven day a week operation, working to interview defendants booked into the Charlotte 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 the compiled information to the First Appearance Judge to aid in the release decision. 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.

Diversion

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 continously, encouraging success through mandatory appointments and monthly check in forms. If successful, the State Attorney's Office is notified to dismiss the cases and discontinue further court proceedings.

Case Management

Pretrial Case Managers monitors felony criminal cases at each stage as they move through the judicial system in an effort to ensure a timely 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 Supervision

The Pretrial Supervision/Court 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. Violations are reported to the courts regularly. Court dates are also confirmed with the defendants on supervision in an effort to decrease failure to appear rates. This unit also supervises defendant released on GPS monitoring.

Specialty Court Coordinator

The specialty court coordinator position is responsible for case management activities that provide assistance to the mental health and drug court teams, which includes the Judiciary. Early intervention and expediting eligible defendants into either specialty court programs is a primary objective. The Specialty Court Coordinator responsibilities involve extensive planning, organizing, coordinating, and monitoring activities in accordance with policies and procedures, judicial standards, Florida Statutes, as well as the Ten Key Components for Drug Courts. This position will allow the courts to gather and maintain data and performance measures for both courts. The specialty Court Coordinator serves as the central point of all referrals for the Drug Court and Mental Health Court Diversion programs.

 



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