Pre Trial Program
Blue Ridge Court Services offers pretrial services to the local court system with two primary goals:
- To provide the local courts with defendant background information so that more informed bond release decisions may be made.
- To provide supervision for defendants released from jail prior to trial to ensure that they appear in court for trial and comply with bond release conditions.
Va. Code 19.2-152.2 allows community corrections programs like Blue Ridge Court Services to assist judicial officers in discharging their duties pursuant to 19.2-119 et seq. by providing better information and services for use by judicial officers in determining the risk to public safety and the assurance of appearance of persons held in custody and charged with and offense, other than an offense punishable by death, who are pending trial or hearing.
Blue Ridge Court Services staff report to the Augusta County Jail each morning at 6:30 AM to interview all individuals who have been arrested and detained the previous 24 hours. BRCS staff gathers information relating to the stability of the defendants home, employment, mental and physical health as well as any substance abuse issues. Upon returning to the BRCS office, a VCIN/NCIC/FBI record is searched, the information gathered from the defendant is verified and a pretrial risk assessment is completed. This information is condensed into a pretrial report which is faxed to the commonwealth’s attorney and the defense attorney for the defendant to be presented at the bond hearing. BRCS staff is available to testify at the bond hearing later that day.
Often judges release individuals on personal recognizance bond pending their appearance in court. In these situations, BRCS is available to monitor the defendant’s compliance with the conditions of bond. Our staff also strives to ensure that the defendant makes his/her appearance in court for trial. While on pretrial supervision, our staff meets with the defendant on a weekly basis, verifies that the defendant continues to abide by the conditions of bond and often performs urine screen surveillance. A report is filed with the judge shortly before trial to appraise the court of the defendant’s adjustment during this pretrial period. Occasionally, if pretrial defendants fail to adhere to the conditions of bond, BRCS staff request that the defendant’s bond be revoked and the defendant be returned to confinement pending trial.
Dave Pastors, Director
Blue Ridge Court Services
White Star Mill Building
125 South New Street
Staunton, VA 24401