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Office of Pretrial Services Overview

Published on: 4/24/2013 6:46 PM

The Office of Pretrial Services facilitates Own Recognizance (O.R.) releases for defendants held in jail pending trial. Most felony arrestees are interviewed at the time of booking and investigative reports are prepared and presented to judges who make statutory release/detention decisions based on the information provided. (See Penal Code Sections 1318-1320). Individuals may be granted an O.R.P. (Own Recognizance Release Program) release by the judge and be required to make all scheduled court appearances and not violate any laws while the case is pending. The judge also has the option of imposing conditions on an individual’s release and may grant a Supervised Own Recognizance Release Program (Supervised O.R) release from jail. Conditions of release vary according to the particular risks involved in the case and may include drug testing, substance abuse or mental health treatment, domestic violence counseling, and restraining orders.

Jail Unit
The Jail Unit is a 24-hour per day, 7 days per week operation located in the Main Jail at 150 W. Hedding St., San Jose. Officers interview all defendants booked on new felony charges for the purpose of recommending those arrestees who can be released from custody on their own recognizance (O.R.), who are most likely to appear in court as directed and who will not compromise public safety. For those not released, officers assist the judge or night commissioner in the determination of probable cause to detain the arrestee and the setting of an individualized bail. New misdemeanor cases of arrestees who are not eligible for citation also receive a probable cause hearing facilitated by the Office of Pretrial Services.

Supervision Unit
The officers assigned to the Supervision Unit monitor defendants who are released on Supervised O.R. Program release with conditions. Officers provide supervision during the adjudication process of all individuals who have been granted a Supervised O.R. release to ensure that they comply with the conditions of their release. Supervision officers refer clients to appropriate services within the community, such as substance abuse treatment or domestic violence counseling, for the purpose of intervention that will assist the defendant in successfully completing the period of pretrial supervision. Performance reports are provided for defendants at the time of sentencing as requested by the judge. Those individuals who fail to comply with release conditions are returned to court for appropriate sanctions.

Drug Testing Unit
Pretrial Services provides urine drug testing as a part of the supervision of defendants released on Supervised O.R. Drug testing results are used as a means to monitor the pretrial conduct of released defendants in order to deter drug use and determine if individuals are in compliance with court-ordered release conditions. Drug testing is arranged by the assigned supervision officer and strict chain-of-custody procedures are followed by the community workers conducting the test.

Court Unit
The Court Unit officers provide investigative reports to the Court at the time of a defendant’s first court appearance (arraignment hearing). Officers recommend O.R. or Supervised O.R. release and include information regarding the scheduled bail amount in order to assist the judge in making an informed decision to release a defendant from jail or set an individualized bail amount. At Arraignment hearings, court officers appear as needed to present the reports, conduct follow-up investigation and answer any questions the judge or attorneys may have about the release recommendation. Court officers prepare reports at any court hearings at the judge’s request for further consideration of release on O.R. or Supervised O.R.

Garry Herceg served as the Assistant Division Director of Juvenile Hall for the Santa Cruz County Probation Department before coming to the Office of Pretrial Services. He has a bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University in Administration of Justice. Mr. Herceg’s professional training includes the Santa Cruz County Leadership Academy, California Institute of Mental Health-Aggression Replacement Training, Burns Institute-Disproportionate Minority Contact, and Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative-Detention risk assessment and effective detention alternative programs. He is a member of the California Association of Probation Institution Administration and the California Association of Pretrial Services.


Supervising Pretrial Services Officer
Stephen Rowe started with Pretrial Services in July 1984. He received a bachelor’s degree in Criminology from U.C. Berkeley and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration from San Jose State University. He has experience in the Jail, Court and Supervision Units. Mr. Rowe has been a member of the Criminal Justice Information Control Users Group since 1986 and he has participated in many interagency problem-solving committees dealing with jail overcrowding and the development of an Automated Fingerprint Identification System. Mr. Rowe is a member of the California Association of Pretrial Services and currently serves on the board as Secretary. He is also a member of the National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies and received certification as a Pretrial Services Professional.

Supervising Pretrial Services Officer
Amos L. Grogan has been with Pretrial Services for 33 years and has worked in all facets of the department. Mr. Grogan has managed the Jail Unit, the Court Unit, Supervision Unit and the Drug Testing Unit. Mr. Grogan has been a member of the California Association of Pretrial Services and the National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies for over 12 years. He has a bachelor’s degree in Administration of Justice and a Masters of Public Administration from San Jose State University.

Supervising Pretrial Services Officer
Carl McGrew received his bachelor’s degree from U.C. Berkeley in 1979 and joined Pretrial Services in 1981 while obtaining his Juris Doctorate from Santa Clara University. Mr. McGrew has been a supervisor at Pretrial Services since 1999. He was appointed to the Santa Clara County Domestic Violence Council in 2006 and has been a member of several subcommittees. Mr. McGrew has been a long-time member of the California Association of Pretrial Services and on its board of directors since 2006.

Pretrial Services Officers
Officers are assigned to the Jail, Supervision and Court Units. The officers are well-educated with all the officers having bachelor’s degrees (most of them in the administration of justice), a few with master’s degrees in criminal justice or public administration and a couple with juris doctorate degrees. The office employs bilingual officers with Spanish and Vietnamese language capability. Some officers have specialized training in domestic violence, substance abuse and mental health depending upon their area of interest.