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The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office Pretrial Justice Program




The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office pretrial justice program, started in October 2018, is showing high success rates.  The pretrial process begins when an inmate is interviewed by a pretrial specialist, a release recommendation is then provided to the Judge during arraignment.  This recommendation includes a risk assessment. The information obtained and the risk assessment are entered into the case management system.


The pretrial specialists are also verifying the information they gather during the interview by making contact with family, friends and employer of the client. If the client isn’t initially released at arraignment, the pretrial specialists take a second look at the situation, identify barriers that are keeping them in custody and make additional attempts to provide information to the court in a release hearing. 


The pretrial specialists are also meeting with clients who have a criminal case but are not lodged in the jail. These clients are generally given a citation in the field to appear in court. When the client appears for arraignment they are ordered by the court to be booked and released from the jail. The pretrial specialists will gather additional information from them, and go over the conditions of their release.


The pretrial specialists currently have 441 clients on their caseload. Clients can be placed on phone or office check ins with varying degrees of frequency. They can also be ordered to participate in urinalysis testing, GPS monitoring and/or alcohol monitoring. The case management system has a robo-call feature that will call or text the client on their phone to remind them of their next scheduled court appearance. The pretrial specialists maintain this system and enter updated court information.  


Since the pretrial program began October 15, 2018 we have had a total of 1627 clients.  There have been 889 cases closed with a successful outcome and 141 closed as unsuccessful. 

A successful closure is defined as a defendant successfully making it through all court appearances with no incident of failure to appear. An example of an unsuccessful closure would be if a defendant did not follow through with their court ordered obligations or failed to appear for court.


We also had 129 cases closed for other reasons such as the District Attorney’s office did not file charges or the case was dismissed. Since the pretrial transition and programming services (TAPS) house on Cottage Street opened in March we have assisted 16 individuals with housing while on pretrial release. We have partnered with C.H.A.N.C.E. (Communities Helping Addicts Negotiate Change Effectively) who provide peer mentors to work one on one with our clients in the pretrial TAPS house.


They provide a variety of recovery-oriented services and promote greater independence, community integration and recovery from drug, alcohol and mental health related issues. 

The jail has also received overcrowding relief since the pretrial program was integrated. The pretrial specialists are available to provide feedback to the supervisors making release decisions when the jail is overcrowded. The number of inmates released early from jail due to overcrowding while their case was still pending from January of 2018 to June of 2018 was 155, during this same time period in 2019 the jail released 83.


Pretrial efforts are often measured by data, statistics and evidence based best practices. In the short time since our pretrial services program has begun working with clients we have analyzed the different areas we can provide assistance and positively impact the jail, courts and our community. In the future, we would like to expand our pretrial housing opportunities to the women we work with. It is our hope we can identify and open a second pretrial TAPS house for females.


Sheriff Landers stated "in just a short amount of time, the amazing success of this program has far exceeded my expectations".  The continued success of this program would not be possible without the partnership and continued support from our local courts, District Attorney's staff and defense counsel.  The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office pretrial justice program, started in October 2018, is showing high success rates.  


The pretrial process begins when an inmate is interviewed by a pretrial specialist, a release recommendation is then provided to the Judge during arraignment.  This recommendation includes a risk assessment. The information obtained and the risk assessment are entered into the case management system. The pretrial specialists are also verifying the information they gather during the interview by making contact with family, friends and employer of the client.   


If the client isn’t initially released at arraignment, the pretrial specialists take a second look at the situation, identify barriers that are keeping them in custody and make additional attempts to provide information to the court in a release hearing. The pretrial specialists are also meeting with clients who have a criminal case but are not lodged in the jail. These clients are generally given a citation in the field to appear in court.


When the client appears for arraignment they are ordered by the court to be booked and released from the jail. The pretrial specialists will gather additional information from them, and go over the conditions of their release. The pretrial specialists currently have 441 clients on their caseload. Clients can be placed on phone or office check ins with varying degrees of frequency. They can also be ordered to participate in urinalysis testing, GPS monitoring and/or alcohol monitoring.


The case management system has a robo-call feature that will call or text the client on their phone to remind them of their next scheduled court appearance. The pretrial specialists maintain this system and enter updated court information.  Since the pretrial program began October 15, 2018 we have had a total of 1627 clients.  There have been 889 cases closed with a successful outcome and 141 closed as unsuccessful. 


A successful closure is defined as a defendant successfully making it through all court appearances with no incident of failure to appear. An example of an unsuccessful closure would be if a defendant did not follow through with their court ordered obligations or failed to appear for court. We also had 129 cases closed for other reasons such as the District Attorney’s office did not file charges or the case was dismissed.


Since the pretrial transition and programming services (TAPS) house on Cottage Street opened in March we have assisted 16 individuals with housing while on pretrial release. 

We have partnered with C.H.A.N.C.E. (Communities Helping Addicts Negotiate Change Effectively) who provide peer mentors to work one on one with our clients in the pretrial TAPS house. They provide a variety of recovery-oriented services and promote greater independence, community integration and recovery from drug, alcohol and mental health related issues. 


The jail has also received overcrowding relief since the pretrial program was integrated. The pretrial specialists are available to provide feedback to the supervisors making release decisions when the jail is overcrowded. The number of inmates released early from jail due to overcrowding while their case was still pending from January of 2018 to June of 2018 was 155, during this same time period in 2019 the jail released 83.


Pretrial efforts are often measured by data, statistics and evidence based best practices. In the short time since our pretrial services program has begun working with clients we have analyzed the different areas we can provide assistance and positively impact the jail, courts and our community. In the future, we would like to expand our pretrial housing opportunities to the women we work with. It is our hope we can identify and open a second pretrial TAPS house for females.


Sheriff Landers stated "in just a short amount of time, the amazing success of this program has far exceeded my expectations".  The continued success of this program would not be possible without the partnership and continued support from our local courts, District Attorney's staff and defense counsel.