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Pretrial Programming

The Mission

Strafford County Pretrial Services will strive to assess, supervise and provide the necessary services for defendants.  We will collaborate with the criminal justice community to assist in pretrial release decisions, promote community safety and ensure the return to court.  This will be completed while honoring the constitutional presumption of innocence.


Pretrial Assessment

When someone is bailed into Strafford County House of Corrections on a criminal charge out of one of the jurisdictions in Strafford County, Community Corrections completes an assessment on the defendant. 

The interview takes place at the HOC and will occur prior to the defendant being arraigned by the court.  The interview is the first part in preparing the defendant for court.  The information gathered adds as a foundation used to assist them when completing a report for the court.

The assessment contains valuable information including:

Criminal history

Pending charges

Education/employment history

Community ties

Outstanding warrants

Address history

Dependants

Mental Health/Substance Abuse history

When the Pre-trial Intake Officer completes the assessment it is presented to the Judge to aid in making an informed decision when determining if bail supervision is necessary

After arraignment, if the defendant is placed on cash bail and still incarcerated at the House of Corrections, Strafford County Community Corrections re-assessed the defendant checking for updated information prior to the Probable Cause hearing, and Bail hearings.

The assessment is available to:

Judges

Prosecutors

Defense Attorneys

County Attorney’s Office

Law Enforcement Personnel

Probation Officers


Pretrial Diversion

Community Corrections has partnered with the Strafford County Attorney’s Office to start a Pre-trial Diversion Program.  The criteria for diversion cases are:

Non Violent Offenses

No Criminal Record

Violations on motor vehicle records are ok

One class B misdemeanor can be received

The Diversion Program was created for people who has not been part of the criminal justice system before and when we do not anticipate will be returning to the system.  Although there is no specific list of crimes that are approved, the idea is that this was a one time event and not just the first time the person has been charged with a crime.

Diversion cases are typically 12 months longs but can be modified by the prosecutor.  Common conditions can include:

Jail tour with an essay explaining their experience

Community Service

LADC Evaluation

Anger Management

Drug Testing

Restitution

Any other provision agreed upon by the Prosecutor and Defense attorneys.

Upon completion of the Diversion program, Community Corrections gathers all required documentation and runs the client’s name for a criminal history check.  If no new records come back, we notify the County Attorney’s Office to Nolle Prosse the case.

If there is a violation during the diversion period, everything stops until the client has finished the new charges.  If a guilty verdict is found, the client is scheduled for immediate sentencing.  If a not guilty verdict is found, the diversion then continues on.

Program Contact Information:

William Britton, Community Supervision Director

Phone:  603-749-0832 ext 5171

Fax:  603-740-2955

E-mail:  wbritton@co.strafford.nh.us

Blair Rowlett, Community Supervision Mental Health Director

Phone:  603-749-0832 ext 5182

Fax:  603-740-2955

E-mail:  browlett@co.strafford.nh.us