Pretrial services agencies, a function of local governments, play an integral role in keeping individuals and communities safe as part of the criminal justice process. PTS agencies conduct investigations and provide crucial information about defendants to judges and magistrates to better inform their decisions about whether persons charged with (but not convicted of) certain offenses and awaiting trial need to be held in jail or can be safely released to their communities with appropriate supervision.

If a judge finds that a defendant is a good candidate for pretrial release, PTS agencies provide essential supervision with the goal of ensuring accountability and promoting growth. This supervision ensures defendants participate in any court-ordered programming or services and that they are present for all required court appearances. PTS reduce failures to appear and enable program participants to evolve and grow in the community while they await trial.