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Confidentiality of Pretrial Services Information:

Title 18 U.S.C. Section 3153 and the regulations found in the Guide to Judiciary Policies and Procedures, Vol. XII, Ch. III defines the rules of confidentiality that restrict the use of pretrial services information.

Information obtained during the performance of pretrial services functions is confidential and shall be used only for purposes of bail determination. Information supplied by the defendant during the course of the investigation is not admissible on the issue of guilt and can only be used against the defendant in the event of perjury or false statements made in an attempt to obtain release, and for failure to appear on the instant offense.

Pretrial services reports are submitted to the court before the initial hearing and prior to subsequent hearings where release or detention is considered. The reports are available to the attorney for the government and defense counsel at all proceedings that concern release or detention. No other party (except the defendant) shall have access to the reports (e.g., agents or the U.S. marshals service). There are five exceptions to the rules of confidentiality that permit release of information to:

  • Qualified persons for research purposes;
  • Persons who are under contract to the pretrial services office, such as treatment centers, counseling services, and halfway houses;
  • Probation officers for the purpose of preparing presentence reports;
  • The U.S. attorney and the attorney for the accused for pretrial diversion purposes;and
  • Law enforcement agencies in limited cases for law enforcement purposes (e.g., defendants who abscond).