CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Clearfield County legal system is now avoiding giving any person supervised bail due to staffing issues.
At Clearfield County’s prison board meeting, President Judge Frederic J. Ammerman announced a setback in supervised bail.
A defendant can be placed on supervised bail which can include drug testing until the resolution of the case. If the defendant violates any condition of bail then it can be revoked and the defendant would remain in jail until the case is concluded.
“A discussion ensued about the one probation officer who handles all of the supervised bail cases and handles other cases where people want more intensive supervision,” Ammerman said.
As of Wednesday morning, Ammerman says there are 55 people out on supervised bail and another 64 cases of intense supervision. Ammerman added with the high number of cases and only one probation officer working on these cases something had to be done.
“We have not been putting any more cases on supervised bail because of this,” Ammerman said. “You’re not getting much more intensive supervision and you’re not getting much supervision from the beginning.”
According to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, there are various types of release on bail that could be used if supervised bail is not available.
Rule 520 states, bail before verdict shall be set in all cases as permitted by law. Whenever bail is refused, the bail authority shall state in writing or on the record the reasons for that determination.
Rule 524: Types of Release on Bail
- Release On Recognizance (ROR): Release conditioned only upon the defendant’s written agreement to appear when required and to comply with the conditions of the bail bond in Rule 526(A).
- Release on Nonmonetary Conditions: Release conditioned upon the defendant’s agreement to comply with any nonmonetary conditions, as set forth in Rule 527, which the bail authority determines are reasonably necessary to ensure the defendant’s appearance and compliance with the conditions of the bail bond.
- Release on Unsecured Bail Bond: Release conditioned upon the defendant’s written agreement to be liable for a fixed sum of money if he or she fails to appear as required or fails to comply with the conditions of the bail bond. No money or other form of security is deposited.
- Release on Nominal Bail: Release conditioned upon the defendant’s depositing a nominal amount of cash which the bail authority determines is sufficient security for the defendant’s release, such as $1.00, and the agreement of a designated person, organization, or bail agency to act as surety for the defendant.
- Release on a Monetary Condition: Release conditioned upon the defendant’s compliance with a monetary condition imposed pursuant to Rule 528. The amount of the monetary condition shall not be greater than is necessary to reasonably ensure the defendant’s appearance and compliance with the conditions of the bail bond.
Ammerman added that the court is going to the commissioner’s office for help.
“The court will be coming to you guys to talk about the probation office because we’re we’re getting overwhelmed,” Ammerman said. “The probation officers just there are just too many cases, pretrial and post-sentencing and we’re to the point we can’t handle what we have.”