Since the 1970’s, Denver has utilized a Pretrial Services Program which has provided defendant information to the court for bond setting and varying levels of pretrial supervision. Within the last 10 years, there has been a focus on pretrial reform aided by the availability of extensive research in the pretrial field, a national movement towards more evidence-based decision making, and improved Colorado statutes around the administering of bail. In 2012, Denver implemented validated pretrial risk assessment using the Colorado Pretrial Assessment Tool (CPAT) as well as a risk informed pretrial supervision model.
Pretrial Services remains committed to advancing a pretrial system that provides pretrial decisions that are equitable, fiscally responsible and data informed; they recognize the presumption of release and reasonably ensure appearance in court with a commitment to public safety.
The Denver criminal justice stakeholders acknowledge the following pretrial guiding principles:
1) Release and detain decisions for all defendants should be risk based, individualized and consider the safety and needs of the community. Release decisions shall be informed by a validated pretrial risk assessment.
2) Pretrial processes shall maintain the presumption of release, equality, justice and due process.
3) Pretrial risk can be lessened for some risk levels with the use of appropriate pretrial supervision conditions.
4) Pretrial system decisions should be research-based and evaluation based on continuing data outcome evaluation.
5) The collaboration of the stakeholders in the pretrial justice process is essential to establish system best practices.
Denver utilizes pretrial risk assessment in compliance with C.R.S. 16-4-103 (3) b which mandates when practical and available, the court shall use an empirically developed risk assessment instrument designed to improve pretrial release decisions by providing to the court information that classifies a person in custody based upon predicted level of risk of pretrial failure.
Defendants arrested and booked into the Van Cise-Simonet Detention Center on a new pending criminal charge are assessed for pretrial risk by the Pretrial Program. Pretrial Services completes these assessments seven days a week, prior to the defendant’s initial advisement.
The assessment process includes an interview of the defendant, a query of the defendant’s criminal history including national, state, and local data bases, and the scoring of the pretrial risk assessment(s). Using the assessment and related collateral information, Pretrial Services provides the court with a Bond Advisement Report. The report also includes a recommendation for conditions of release and any recommended level of supervision.
Assessment tools include: the Colorado Pretrial Assessment Tool (CPAT) for all defendants. All defendants arrested for or charged with a domestic violence related offense also receive the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment (ODARA). Defendants charged with a driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol will all receive the Driving Under the Influence Risk and Need Triage (DUI RANT).
Pretrial Services supervises defendants ordered by the court to supervised conditions of release. This risk informed supervision is guided by the Denver Pretrial Decision-Making Framework which considers offense level, risk score and charge enhancers. This framework provides a starting point for determining conditions of release, which is a process that also involves judicial oversight.
Defendants ordered to pretrial supervision meet with pretrial staff upon release from custody to review supervision conditions, establish supervision requirements, and identify immediate community support needs. Over 2,300 defendants are currently supervised in the community.
Defendants receive court reminder calls, are instructed to call into pretrial services after each court appearance, receive periodic criminal history checks, and are entered in CBI as pretrial supervision clients for notification of new arrest.
Defendants receive court reminder calls, check in at pretrial services after court appearances, are required to complete case management meetings and telephone check ins as determined by the pretrial officer, receive periodic criminal history checks, are entered in CBI as pretrial supervision clients for notification of new arrest. They also complete substance testing if ordered by the court.
Defendants receive court reminder calls, check in at pretrial services after court appearances, are required to complete case management meetings, and telephone check ins as necessary, receive periodic criminal history checks, are entered in CBI as pretrial supervision clients for notification of new arrest. They also complete substance testing if ordered by the court. Electronic monitoring may include alcohol monitoring and/or GPS monitoring of location or movement restrictions.
This level of supervision should be ordered in felony cases for only the highest risk defendants. Defendants are restricted through electronic monitoring to a residence and are not allowed to leave for activities other than court or medical issues. Pretrial Services may approve limited essential appointments when required. Defendants receive court reminder calls and check in at pretrial services after court appearances. Defendants must have a confirmed residence before being released from custody. Defendants will be monitored using GPS technology.
303 W. Colfax Avenue Ave.
Denver, CO 80204