- Massachusetts Probation Service
Media Contact for MPS’s Pretrial Unit Helps Provide Access to Justice and Healthcare
Coria Holland, Communications Director
The Massachusetts Probation Service (MPS) is celebrating Pretrial and Probation Supervision Month through August 1st. This celebration is an extension of the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA)'s Pretrial, Probation, and Parole Supervision Week and a recognition of the work of MPS employees such as the Pretrial Unit which exemplifies this year's theme, “Stronger Together.” The Pretrial staff play an integral role in providing access to justice through the eReminder System and enrollment in health insurance.
The Pretrial Unit—which works with probation officers to reduce failure to appear in court rates—joined with the Trial Court’s Judicial Information Services Department to develop the eReminder System for all court departments. The system reminds court-users of upcoming court dates and “minimizes unnecessary pretrial detention and provides reminders to defendants of court appearance obligations to reduce the risk of accidental defaults,” according to Pamerson Ifill, Deputy Commissioner-Pretrial Services. More than 300,000 text messages have been delivered to defendants and litigants throughout Massachusetts.
MPS is also partnering with MassHealth to bridge the health coverage gap for individuals with mental health and substance use disorders. The six-member pretrial staff assists eligible clients in enrolling in the MassHealth Insurance program. The staff are all Certified Application Counselors or CAC’s which certifies them to enroll eligible clients in the MassHealth Insurance program.
The Pretrial Unit monitors 28,171 cases--pretrial probation as disposition and pretrial conditions of release in the Commonwealth, according to figures maintained by MPS' Research Department. These represent Category A which are unsupervised cases.
Who is on pretrial probation in Massachusetts?
See the infographic above which illustrates the pretrial caseload in Massachusetts by gender, race, and ethnicity.