- Interview ALL defendants placed on supervised bail.
- Interview commitments to Chester County Prison in lieu of bail.
- Interview walk-in bench warrants.
- Conduct background investigations.
- Recommend bail reductions and bail modifications.
- Recommend and monitor conditions of release.
- Direct referrals that include, but are not limited to, drug/alcohol treatment, education classes, and mental health treatment.
- Liaison with Courts and related offices in the criminal justice system.
- Enforce conditions of release.
- Notify the court if any conditions of bail are violated.
- Notify defendants of court dates.
- Pretrial Officers appear in court for:
- Bail reductions/modifications
- Preliminary Hearings
- Rule 150 Hearings
- Bench Warrants
At the time of arrest the Issuing Authority (Magisterial District Judge) or Common Pleas Judge may decide to include a condition of Pretrial Supervision with one of the following types of bail:
Release on Recognizance (ROR) -A release that requires a written agreement to appear in Court as required and to comply with all bail conditions imposed. No money or security is required for deposit.
- Unsecured Bail - A release requiring a written agreement to be liable for the sum of money set as bail if a failure to appear for Court or non-compliance of bail conditions occurs. No money or security is required for deposit.
- Nominal Bail - A release whereby, the cost of security can be One Dollar ($1) when the bail bond is signed, with the agreement that the designated person, organization, or bail agency must act as surety for the defendant.
- 10% Bail - A release requiring the posting of 10% of the Ordered Bail amount, and an agreement to comply with all conditions of bail. 60% of the 10% deposit is returned to the designated person who acted as surety for the defendant.
- Full Cash Bail - A release requiring the posting of the entire Ordered Bail amount.
Check In Defendants supervised by the Bail Agency are required to check in on a regular basis. Defendants may check in by phone 610-344-6886 or email. When checking in defendants must spell their name, leave their date of birth, telephone number where they may be reached in the next 48 hours and date of their next court appearance.
In the case of bond forfeiture, Investigators work to bring back into the system criminal defendants who have failed to appear at various court proceedings. These investigators attempt to resolve cases of bond forfeiture by contacting the individual, having them report to the Bail Agency, and presenting their cases in court for bail reinstatement. In the case of willful, non-compliant forfeitures, Investigators will work closely with law enforcement officials to have those defendants apprehended Investigators will notify defendants who are not in compliance with their conditions of bail and attempt to reintegrate them into the criminal justice system.
The Bail Agency is involved in the Chester County Drug Court Program, which began in October of 1997. The Bail Agency is responsible for identifying potential Drug Court candidates, assisting in the application process, quickly providing all members of the Drug Court team with defendant information, having the defendant assessed for drug dependency and scheduling the 1st Drug Court appearance.
Electronic Home Monitoring
The Bail Agency is responsible for administering the electronic home monitoring program. Participants are court ordered to be monitored as a bail condition. The purpose of the program is to structure, curtail and monitor the defendant's activity through the establishment of a curfew, which is enforced through electronic means. Suitable candidates have their cases presented to the Court of Common Pleas with a request that bond be modified on the condition that they are restricted to their residences and abide by various rules and regulations.
Mental Health Court
In July 2008, the Chester County Mental Health Recovery Court (MHC) was established as a division of the County's Treatment Courts. Building on the Court's 11 years of experience, and by approaching the problems of mental illness and criminal behavior through the use of a problem-solving court model, the Court effectively addresses the increasing number of mentally ill offenders cycling through the courts and the prison. A Bail Investigator is assigned to the MHC team. The investigator is a source of referrals and reviews each MHC referral for statutory bail factors to assure future appearances and public safety. The investigator serves as a contact for Hospitals and residential placements when made a condition of bail. The investigator coordinates all documents related to bail modification and release to MHC.
A Specialized Pre-trial Services Officer (PTSO) works directly with military veterans and collaborates with the Veterans Justice Outreach Coordinator of the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center to identify veterans who enter the criminal justice system at arrest. The PTSO diverts those veterans with substance abuse and/or mental health problems into Treatment Court to ensure that they get the treatment services they need from the VA while keeping them out of jail or greatly reducing their period of incarceration. Veterans not eligible for Treatment Court are referred for specialized supervision and/or re-entry services through the Adult Probation Re-Entry Unit.