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Denver's Pretrial Services program conducts a risk assessment and determines a defendant's eligibility to be released from jail before trial under supervision. The determinination is based on public safey considerations and the likelihood of the defendant making court appearances. The program provides essential information and recommendations to the court for determination of conditions. 

Risk Assessment

• Increases public safety and confidence

• Reduces costs

• Avoids the negative results of unnecessary incarceration for both defendants and the community

Pretrial Services also supervises pretrial more than 2,300 defendants as ordered by the court, using several effective methods which are low-cost alternatives to jail. About 21 defendants begin supervision each day after meeting with staff from the release unit. 

Denver's risk-informed decision-making continues to advance pretrial justice in Colorado and reflect the national movement to improve pretrial processes. Denver continues to move toward a pretrial system that is evidence-based, supporting bond conditions that are informed by risk evaluation and research. 





Supervision Methods

 Every defendant released to pretrial supervision is required to attend meetings with their pretrial officer. The frequency of these meetings depends on the level of supervision required.

As a condition of this program, and of bond requirements, defendants are not allowed to drink alcohol or use illegal substances. This method of supervision may be ordered in cases where drug use was a part of the crime, or when the defendant’s criminal history reflects a drug use problem and/or the defendant admits to a drug problem.

This program provides near real-time tracking of a defendant’s whereabouts and is relayed by satellites to Pretrial Officers. Defendant movement is restricted through "exclusion zones" that are programmed into the GPS monitoring device. Officers are notified 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if the exclusion zone is breached. This type of monitoring is often applied in cases of person-on-person crimes, in repeat cases with the same victim, or for threats of retaliation or numerous episodes of failing to appear in court.

This program utilizes a transdermal alcohol testing bracelet. The defendant is tested at least 24 times each day and results are either uploaded via an Internet modem in the defendant’s home, or in the Pretrial Office. This type of monitoring could be ordered in cases where alcohol was part of a crime, the defendant’s history shows previous alcohol related offenses, or the defendant admits to a problem with alcohol.

To learn about electronic monitoring programs and technologies, visit our Electronic Monitoring Program page.


The investigation unit interviews individuals booked into the jail for a felony or a class-one misdemeanor.  Upon completion of the interview, a criminal history is compiled and scored along with other stability factors. The numerical score guides staff in preparing bond recommendations to the court, including release.

The pretrial supervision unit reviews custody dockets for felonies and other types of misdemeanors to determine if the defendant is eligible for release under enhanced supervision. This process takes place as part of the preliminary hearing stage for felony hearings and other types of hearings in the Denver County criminal court. 

If ordered by the court to receive pretrial services, the defendant will usually be assigned conditions of supervision under Denver Pretrial Services such as drug and alcohol testing or electronic monitoring. Denver Pretrial Services strictly adheres to the National Association of Pretrial Service Agencies Standards.

Contact Us

Pretrial Services
303 W. Colfax Avenue Ave.
16th floor 
Denver, CO 80204

Phone: 720-913-8260