Vermont’s Pre-Trial Services is a program of the Vermont Attorney General’s office. Pre-Trial Services offers three tiers of support for individuals charged with a crime in Vermont.
Pre-Trial Screenings–The Pre-Trial coordinator provides voluntary substance use and mental health screenings to individuals charged with a crime in Vermont (some exclusions apply). The screenings help identify whether an individual would benefit from meeting with a counselor for a further assessment and support. The coordinator provides this information to the individual’s defense lawyer, the state’s attorney and the judge, so all parties can work together to determine the best course for addressing the pending charges.
Pre-Trial Monitoring– This program offers support to individuals going through the court process. The Pre-Trial coordinator helps individuals, as needed:
- Access mental health services;
- Identify appropriate substance use programs;
- Engage with community services;
- Comply with court proceedings and conditions of release.
Participation in the program can be requested by the individual or ordered by the judge. Engagement with this program is voluntary, and choosing not to participate will not result in a violation of conditions of release.
The State’s Attorney may offer the Tamarack program to individuals with a criminal record who are identified as having and underlying substance use or mental health problem. The Tamarack program operates like Court Diversion, where individuals are asked to take responsibility for their offense and to work with the pre-trial coordinator to repair any harm they caused and address the underlying mental health or substance abuse issues.
First priority is given to helping individuals in the program access services and treatment for their mental health or substance use issue.
If the individual completes their program contract, the charges will be dismissed. (Note: This program is only available to individuals charged with “unlisted crimes.”)