Corrections

Corrections personnel includes pretrial services officers, probation and parole officers, pretrial diversion and community corrections officers, and prison and jail personnel.  The practitioners in these positions make recommendations to the court regarding the defendants/offenders under their supervision, monitor defendant/offender compliance with court orders, and ensure that public safety is maintained by monitoring the overall behavior of those defendants/offenders. Corrections practitioners rely on complete and accurate warrant and disposition information to effectively do their jobs.

Warrants

Pretrial services officers interview and conduct background checks on defendants awaiting first appearance in order to provide judicial officers with the information needed to make appropriate release decisions.   The availability of complete warrant information is central to these release recommendations.  If a pretrial services officer is unaware of an active warrant it could result in the release of the defendant prior to service of that warrant.  Conversely, if a served warrant has not been removed from the local, state, or federal database, a defendant that is eligible for release may be unnecessarily detained, wasting resources of both the pretrial service agency and the jail in which the defendant is housed.

Pretrial services officers, along with probation and parole officers, pretrial diversion officers, and community corrections officers (collectively referred to here as probation officers) monitor defendant/offender behavior and compliance with court orders.  These corrections personnel need accurate warrant information to ensure that a defendant/offender does not remain in the community despite being charged with a new offense. Prison and jail personnel, on the other hand, need accurate warrant information to reduce the risk of releasing an inmate prior to service of an active warrant.

Dispositions

Complete, up-to-date criminal history information is essential to pretrial services officers making release recommendations to the court. The absence of disposition information could result in an eligible defendant not being released to the custody of the pretrial services agency, could prevent a recommendation for an eligible defendant's inclusion in a problem-solving court program or other treatment-based service offered by the locality, or, in the worst case scenario, could lead to an inappropriate recommendation for release of an ineligible defendant.

Probation officers also need complete criminal history records for the defendants/offenders on supervision. In addition to serving as a resource for determining the classification and risk assessment of an offender, a person's criminal history provides the probation officer with information about the person's patterns of behavior, enabling the probation officer to monitor the person for risk, or trigger factors, as well as make recommendations regarding programs (i.e., treatment or quality of life services) that can be pivotal in reducing that person's risk of recidivism.