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    History and Organization Structure

    History and Organization Structure

    History and Authority

    The Tarrant County Pretrial Release Program was created in 1979 by Tarrant County Commissioners Court with grant funds received from the Criminal Justice Division of the Texas Governor's Office.  Until September 1992, Pretrial Release functioned under the day-to-day operational oversight of Tarrant County Criminal Court Judges, with budgetary control maintained by Commissioners Court.  In October 1992, Commissioners Court became responsible for both the departmental budget and daily operations.  The Commissioners Court appointed the County Administrators Office to provide direct supervision and management of the department.  In October 2001, with the approval of Commissioners Court, the Pretrial Release Program underwent a name change to Tarrant County Pretrial Services.

    The establishment of Pretrial Services as a County department, as well as the development of many of the procedural aspects of the program, is based on criminal laws in Texas that are relevant to personal bonds.  Article 17.42 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure authorizes a magistrate to grant personal bonds and under what conditions, as well as what must be stated on the bond itself.  Article 17.01 and 17.03 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure defines a personal bond, provides information regarding release on personal bond as well as the requisites of a personal bond.


    Pretrial Services is currently under the direct supervision and authority of the County Administrator's Office.  The Criminal Justice Manager oversees the administrative and operational functions of the department.  The Pretrial Services Director is responsible for the daily operational processes insuring that efficient and quality services are provided to the Courts.  Other Pretrial Services personnel include:  two supervisors; nine Pretrial caseworkers; two office clerks and one secretary/bookkeeper.

    The Pretrial Services office is located in downtown Fort Worth in the Tarrant County Corrections Center at 100 North Lamar Street.  In order to “screen” and interview defendants as soon as possible after they are booked in, Pretrial Services staffs a desk in the Book-In Section of the Tarrant County Jail, as well as the Arlington City Jail.  Staff are also on hand to screen and interview Fort Worth arrestees at the 350 Belknap Facility in downtown Fort Worth.  In addition, mechanisms are in place to interview and release eligible defendants from other Tarrant County municipalities via telephone and/or fax interview/release policies and procedures.   

    The Pretrial Services Agency is open to the public six days a week, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday thru Friday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.  The office is closed on Sundays and official county holidays.