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Author Topic: Anyone know about pre-trial prisoners in the US?  (Read 619 times)  

Offline Decon

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Anyone know about pre-trial prisoners in the US?
« on: March 20, 2017, 04:51:13 PM »
I can't find this anywhere on the internet unless I am looking in the wrong place, so I'm hoping someone can help.

Say someone is arrested for murder and they don't plead at pre trial, in this case an 18 year old girl. Do I have it right that it would first go before a judge to detemine if it should go to trial and they could refuse bail and order a psychiatric evaluation, or even have a public defender appointed to plead for her, or maybe the judge could enter a not guilty plea for her and set a trial date.

In this case it is set in Colorado. My question is, as a young woman who has not yet been convicted, would she be locked up 23 hrs per day with no privilages as a cat 1 prisoner in a supermax, or would she be incarcerated in a less secure evironment where she be allowed say her own clothes, visitors, and be able to have books, and mix with other prisoners?
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 05:02:20 PM by Decon »


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Offline mach 5

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Re: Anyone know about remand prisoners in the US?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2017, 05:02:33 PM »
I googled "colorado pre-trial imprisonment"

https://www.denver-colorado-criminal-lawyer.com/stages-of-a-criminal-case

Of course - that doesn't answer all your questions. But before trial, people in most jurisdictions are usually in city and county jail mixed in with regular inmates and other pre-trial for all levels of offenses. It's scary you can be in there for something minor and have a bunkie who is in for murder.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 05:05:43 PM by mach 5 »

Offline Arches

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Re: Anyone know about pre-trial prisoners in the US?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 05:37:12 PM »

In this case it is set in Colorado. My question is, as a young woman who has not yet been convicted, would she be locked up 23 hrs per day with no privilages as a cat 1 prisoner in a supermax, or would she be incarcerated in a less secure evironment where she be allowed say her own clothes, visitors, and be able to have books, and mix with other prisoners?

I happen to be a Colorado attorney, but I don't do a lot of criminal work. Basically, someone suspected of murder would be tried in state court unless the murder happened to a national politician or had some other unusual factual setting. That means the case would be prosecuted by a local district attorney. The suspect would be arraigned to formally notify her of the charges, and if she refused to enter a plea, a not guilty plea would be entered by the court. She would have to be indigent to get a free public defender, but in a serious case like murder, the court would probably tentatively appoint a public defender. Bail would normally be granted, unless there was clear evidence she was likely to flee, but the bail amount could be prohibitively expensive, say a half-million dollars.
If she didn't get bail, or she couldn't pay the amount, she would almost certainly end up in a county jail for female prisoners. It's very unlikely she would go to an enhanced security facility before being convicted, and even then, the prosecutor would have to make an unusual showing that she was a terrorist or something of that nature. In a county jail, she would be mixed with other pretrial defendants and convicts with shorter terms, like less than a year. Longer-term prisoners usually go to a state prision after conviction.
In the county lockup, she wouldn't have her own clothes, but unless she was either a great threat to other prisoners or they were a great threat to her, she would mix with other women in jail. As for books, yes, she'd probably have access to some books, but there are restrictions on the kinds of books allowed, like erotic novels.
I hope that helps, but there is considerable variation within county jails depending on the locale.

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Re: Anyone know about pre-trial prisoners in the US?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 05:42:32 PM »

In this case it is set in Colorado. My question is, as a young woman who has not yet been convicted, would she be locked up 23 hrs per day with no privilages as a cat 1 prisoner in a supermax, or would she be incarcerated in a less secure evironment where she be allowed say her own clothes, visitors, and be able to have books, and mix with other prisoners?
She would be placed in the county jail, which is a secure environment. She would be in the population with other murderers, thieves, shoplifters, drug dealers, hookers, etc. She would have everything confiscated and issued a prison uniform. Until she posts bail, assuming bail is granted, that is where she would stay until her trial. If she couldn't afford an attorney, a public defender would be appointed by the court.

That is fairly standard treatment in the US. I lived in Colorado for ten years, and that's how it would be handled there. Your reference to "supermax" would be a long-term prison where prisoners go post-conviction.

You might also research "grand jury".


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Offline Decon

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Re: Anyone know about pre-trial prisoners in the US?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2017, 06:00:38 PM »
Wow, thanks everyone. I think I have everything I need right there in all your replies.

Very much appreciated.


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Offline cdk

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Re: Anyone know about pre-trial prisoners in the US?
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2017, 10:46:06 PM »
I have about 28 years experience in criminal law in California, but Colorado probably isnt too different.  Your character's first appearance to enter a plea would be at her arraignment and that's where the court would ask her if she has the money or means to hire her own attorney.  If she says "No," the court would likely appoint the public defender, or possibly an alternate defender or a panel attorney if theres a codefendant in the case.  If the court senses your character is not mentally competent, the court is required to appoint counsel, likely the public defender.  If counsel is of the opinion your character is or may be mentally incompetent, the court is required to conduct a hearing to determine whether she is mentally competent to stand trial.  Everything in the case is suspended until theres a determination of her mental competence.

I don't know about Colorado, but in California, the defendant is entitled to a jury trial on the issue of mental competence.  If your character is determined to be mentally incompetent, criminal proceedings are suspended until she becomes competent.  If she's determined to be competent, criminal proceedings on the underlying offense, in this case murder, resumes and for the first time she enters a plea.  Up until this time, all of this takes place without your character ever entering a plea, which is not significant in fiction, but it's significant in the real world because once a plea is entered, it triggers different time limits on matters that have to take place.

In this case the bail issue is a toss-up.  Bail is usually set in most murder cases unless it's a capital case, although Colorado may be different.  If counsel advises the court that a psych evaluation should take place, bail is unlikely because the defendant will be transported to a mental health facility for the psych evaluation.

While the your character is waiting for transportation to the mental health facility, which could take anywhere between zero and ninety days and sometimes longer, your character would usually be segregated from the general population at the county jail and they don't have access to their clothes.  Have you ever noticed court proceedings on the news where they show a defendant wearing scrubs in court?  The color of their scrubs tells you about the defendant.  For example, orange is usually reserved for pretrial general jail population, yellow is mental health issues, red is high profile, escape threat, or vulnerable inmate, (sex offenders) and navy is heavy felonies.  I can't recall, but dark green may be inmates who have been sentenced.  Each county jail is different, but in your case, your character would be wearing yellow scrubs if the jail figured she has a mental health issue and it's unlikely that she would be housed with the general population because (1) as an inmate with a mental health issue she's vulnerable if housed with the general population, and (2) inmates with mental health issues tend to be disruptive to the general inmate population.

And because your character may be transported to a mental health facility, once she arrives she's not a prisoner, but a patient, and as a defendant in a murder case, it's likely she would be housed in one of the more secure locations in the facility. 

Hope this helps.

Offline Alpaca Lou

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Re: Anyone know about pre-trial prisoners in the US?
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2017, 12:53:02 AM »
She would be placed in the county jail, which is a secure environment. She would be in the population with other murderers, thieves, shoplifters, drug dealers, hookers, etc. She would have everything confiscated and issued a prison uniform. Until she posts bail, assuming bail is granted, that is where she would stay until her trial. If she couldn't afford an attorney, a public defender would be appointed by the court.

That is fairly standard treatment in the US. I lived in Colorado for ten years, and that's how it would be handled there. Your reference to "supermax" would be a long-term prison where prisoners go post-conviction.

You might also research "grand jury".

There's only one Supermax prison, but there's a lot of maximum security prisons / penitentiaries. The supermax is coincidentally in Colorado, and its name is ADX Florence. It has about 400 cells, so there just isn't enough space for run-of-the-mill murderers to be sent there. It's also a federal institution, and normally homicide is a state crime.

The supermax is basically a supreme isolation prison, and a lot of human rights groups have condemned it as being torture. The cells have a tiny sliver of a window, and are soundproof. There's no contact with other prisoners, multiple video cameras watch the prisoners at all times, they sleep on a concrete bed, and 3 guards watch each inmate exercise alone, a few times per week (which is the only time they leave their cells, unless they're dying or have died.) The "exercise" consists of walking back and forth 10 steps for an hour. The supermax is for the most severe criminals, like the surviving marathon attacker, prisoners who kill correctional officers, those who've escaped from "the hole" at maximum security prisons, cartel leaders, spies / extreme leakers of gov't secrets, that kind of stuff.

Offline Decon

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Re: Anyone know about pre-trial prisoners in the US?
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2017, 07:12:30 AM »
There's only one Supermax prison, but there's a lot of maximum security prisons / penitentiaries. The supermax is coincidentally in Colorado, and its name is ADX Florence. It has about 400 cells, so there just isn't enough space for run-of-the-mill murderers to be sent there. It's also a federal institution, and normally homicide is a state crime.

The supermax is basically a supreme isolation prison, and a lot of human rights groups have condemned it as being torture. The cells have a tiny sliver of a window, and are soundproof. There's no contact with other prisoners, multiple video cameras watch the prisoners at all times, they sleep on a concrete bed, and 3 guards watch each inmate exercise alone, a few times per week (which is the only time they leave their cells, unless they're dying or have died.) The "exercise" consists of walking back and forth 10 steps for an hour. The supermax is for the most severe criminals, like the surviving marathon attacker, prisoners who kill correctional officers, those who've escaped from "the hole" at maximum security prisons, cartel leaders, spies / extreme leakers of gov't secrets, that kind of stuff.

Actually that's good info as it could be used as a false threat to get her to cooperate.


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Offline Decon

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Re: Anyone know about pre-trial prisoners in the US?
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2017, 07:42:36 AM »
I have about 28 years experience in criminal law in California, but Colorado probably isnt too different.  Your character's first appearance to enter a plea would be at her arraignment and that's where the court would ask her if she has the money or means to hire her own attorney.  If she says "No," the court would likely appoint the public defender, or possibly an alternate defender or a panel attorney if theres a codefendant in the case.  If the court senses your character is not mentally competent, the court is required to appoint counsel, likely the public defender.  If counsel is of the opinion your character is or may be mentally incompetent, the court is required to conduct a hearing to determine whether she is mentally competent to stand trial.  Everything in the case is suspended until theres a determination of her mental competence.

I don't know about Colorado, but in California, the defendant is entitled to a jury trial on the issue of mental competence.  If your character is determined to be mentally incompetent, criminal proceedings are suspended until she becomes competent.  If she's determined to be competent, criminal proceedings on the underlying offense, in this case murder, resumes and for the first time she enters a plea.  Up until this time, all of this takes place without your character ever entering a plea, which is not significant in fiction, but it's significant in the real world because once a plea is entered, it triggers different time limits on matters that have to take place.

In this case the bail issue is a toss-up.  Bail is usually set in most murder cases unless it's a capital case, although Colorado may be different.  If counsel advises the court that a psych evaluation should take place, bail is unlikely because the defendant will be transported to a mental health facility for the psych evaluation.

While the your character is waiting for transportation to the mental health facility, which could take anywhere between zero and ninety days and sometimes longer, your character would usually be segregated from the general population at the county jail and they don't have access to their clothes.  Have you ever noticed court proceedings on the news where they show a defendant wearing scrubs in court?  The color of their scrubs tells you about the defendant.  For example, orange is usually reserved for pretrial general jail population, yellow is mental health issues, red is high profile, escape threat, or vulnerable inmate, (sex offenders) and navy is heavy felonies.  I can't recall, but dark green may be inmates who have been sentenced.  Each county jail is different, but in your case, your character would be wearing yellow scrubs if the jail figured she has a mental health issue and it's unlikely that she would be housed with the general population because (1) as an inmate with a mental health issue she's vulnerable if housed with the general population, and (2) inmates with mental health issues tend to be disruptive to the general inmate population.

And because your character may be transported to a mental health facility, once she arrives she's not a prisoner, but a patient, and as a defendant in a murder case, it's likely she would be housed in one of the more secure locations in the facility. 

Hope this helps.

Yes, it helps. Thanks


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Offline anniejocoby

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Re: Anyone know about pre-trial prisoners in the US?
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2017, 09:23:46 AM »
I can't find this anywhere on the internet unless I am looking in the wrong place, so I'm hoping someone can help.

Say someone is arrested for murder and they don't plead at pre trial, in this case an 18 year old girl. Do I have it right that it would first go before a judge to detemine if it should go to trial and they could refuse bail and order a psychiatric evaluation, or even have a public defender appointed to plead for her, or maybe the judge could enter a not guilty plea for her and set a trial date.

In this case it is set in Colorado. My question is, as a young woman who has not yet been convicted, would she be locked up 23 hrs per day with no privilages as a cat 1 prisoner in a supermax, or would she be incarcerated in a less secure evironment where she be allowed say her own clothes, visitors, and be able to have books, and mix with other prisoners?

If she's pre-trial, she's going to go to jail, not prison, to await trial. The judge cannot plead her guilty unless she wants to plead guilty. I don't know about Colorado (all counties have different procedures), but the way it would be in Kansas City, Missouri, would be as follows: she gets an initial appearance, where her bond is set and she's assigned to the Public Defender's Office or she indicates that she wants a private attorney. She's given a court date for her preliminary hearing or a date for her case to go to the Grand Jury (it depends on the severity of the crime). After her preliminary hearing or Grand Jury, if she's bound over for trial, she gets a date for her arraignment. Once she's arraigned, she's assigned to a trial docket. At that point, the defense counsel or the prosecutor can ask for a mental evaluation (usually it would be the defense attorney). Also, at that point, the defense counsel indicates if he or she is trying for a Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity plea, so that the prosecutor can have a heads-up. They agree to exchange discovery and give dates for depositions, etc.

One of the most important things, IMHO - and I see this a lot - is that there is a difference between jail and prison. Jail is where you go if you are awaiting trial OR you are sentenced for a misdemeanor for a period of less than 1 year. Prison is where the felons go, even if it's only for a matter of months.

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Offline Doglover

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Re: Anyone know about pre-trial prisoners in the US?
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2017, 09:50:12 AM »
If she's pre-trial, she's going to go to jail, not prison, to await trial. The judge cannot plead her guilty unless she wants to plead guilty. I don't know about Colorado (all counties have different procedures), but the way it would be in Kansas City, Missouri, would be as follows: she gets an initial appearance, where her bond is set and she's assigned to the Public Defender's Office or she indicates that she wants a private attorney. She's given a court date for her preliminary hearing or a date for her case to go to the Grand Jury (it depends on the severity of the crime). After her preliminary hearing or Grand Jury, if she's bound over for trial, she gets a date for her arraignment. Once she's arraigned, she's assigned to a trial docket. At that point, the defense counsel or the prosecutor can ask for a mental evaluation (usually it would be the defense attorney). Also, at that point, the defense counsel indicates if he or she is trying for a Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity plea, so that the prosecutor can have a heads-up. They agree to exchange discovery and give dates for depositions, etc.

One of the most important things, IMHO - and I see this a lot - is that there is a difference between jail and prison. Jail is where you go if you are awaiting trial OR you are sentenced for a misdemeanor for a period of less than 1 year. Prison is where the felons go, even if it's only for a matter of months.

PM me if you have any specific questions!!!
Wow! I never knew there was a difference in the States between prison and jail. Here, as far as I know, they are the same thing. Jail is just another name for prison and not one that is used very often. I am an avid fan of American detective programmes, but I missed that one completely.


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Offline anniejocoby

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Re: Anyone know about pre-trial prisoners in the US?
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2017, 10:13:23 AM »
Wow! I never knew there was a difference in the States between prison and jail. Here, as far as I know, they are the same thing. Jail is just another name for prison and not one that is used very often. I am an avid fan of American detective programmes, but I missed that one completely.

The two terms are used interchangeably, but they shouldn't, IMHO. I'm always hearing about "too many people in this country are in jail," when they clearly mean "prison." I cringed every time Bernie Sanders talked about so many people in "jail."  That was one of the first things my boss at the Public Defender's Office explained to me - the difference between jail and prison.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 10:15:20 AM by anniejocoby »

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Offline cdk

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Re: Anyone know about pre-trial prisoners in the US?
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2017, 10:33:17 AM »
Quote
One of the most important things, IMHO - and I see this a lot - is that there is a difference between jail and prison. Jail is where you go if you are awaiting trial OR you are sentenced for a misdemeanor for a period of less than 1 year. Prison is where the felons go, even if it's only for a matter of months.

There's a huge difference between jail and prison, and while this statement is still generally true, there's a trend where states, California being one of them in 2011, have enacted legislation for community-based punishment which means that defendants with low-level felony convictions are sentenced to county jail instead of state prison.  Some for as many as 5 years in county jail.  Studies show community-based sentencing helps reduce recidivism rates.

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Re: Anyone know about pre-trial prisoners in the US?
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2017, 10:40:55 AM »
There's a huge difference between jail and prison, and while this statement is still generally true, there's a trend where states, California being one of them in 2011, have enacted legislation for community-based punishment which means that defendants with low-level felony convictions are sentenced to county jail instead of state prison.  Some for as many as 5 years in county jail.  Studies show community-based sentencing helps reduce recidivism rates.

Good to know! I should probably check and see if Missouri is doing that same thing. My legal thriller series is set in Missouri, because I know the laws and procedures there, but I admit that I haven't practiced law for 10 years, so I'm constantly researching to see what, if anything, has changed in that state since I stopped practicing. I need to look up and see if they're also sentencing felons to jail. I do know that they have community-based sentencing, in a sense, because they have drug court and diversion, where you can have your charges expunged if you complete the requirements. They also have prison-based treatment facilities, where you can do 180 days in a prison, but not in general population, but in a treatment facility that is based in the prison.

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Re: Anyone know about pre-trial prisoners in the US?
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2017, 11:21:41 AM »
So have I got this right.

She's been found at the scene of a murder, (victim is her dad) covered in blood with the possible murder weapon in her hands by a sheriff who arrested her at the scene (probable cause so no warrant needed) and read her her rights at which time all she did was to laugh.

It's a small town and she was taken to county Jail and processed, then brought before a judge. She is not speaking or responding to any questions even to confirm her name, social security number, date of birth, and she has no ID. (Sheriff has her name from previously talking to her dad) She has not asked for an attorney.

The judge deduces from her not speaking that she could have mental problems and the horrfific MO of the murder, but regardless, there is probable cause. He doesn't  have any background information other than she has lived off the grid with her dad (The victim) and is capabable of living off the land and in fact was running away from home at the time of the incident to live in the wilds. (info from town sheriff)

So after the DA prosecutor lays out events, some of which is that forensics have been unable to process the scene due to a snow storm, the judge determines that he wants to find out if she is mentaly capabable of going to trial and on that basis, together with the prosecutor arguing she could be a flight risk, he declines bail and instead orders that she be held at the county jail and orders a psychiatric evaluation report.

He also orders that in the interim council be appointed, then sets a pre-trial conference to discuss the psychiatric report, because at that stage all criminal proceeding are suspended.

Later the psychiatrist's report will clear her for trial and the forensics will come in and there will be full disclosure and an arraignment date is set. 

In the county jail while awaiting trial, she'll no longer be isolated and have to wear a yellow suit but a different color and she can have books from the library and mix with the other prisoners and she will be allowed visits.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 11:33:19 AM by Decon »


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Re: Anyone know about pre-trial prisoners in the US?
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2017, 11:35:06 AM »
Quote
the judge determines that he wants to find out if she is mentaly capabable of going to trial . . .and he declines bail and instead orders that she be held at the county jail and orders a psychiatric evaluation report.

Yes.  In my state the court appoints counsel first, and it's counsel's assessment that determines whether the court orders a psych evaluation, but your chronology is equally likely.

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Re: Anyone know about pre-trial prisoners in the US?
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2017, 11:38:20 AM »
So have I got this right.

She's been found at the scene of a murder, (victim is her dad) covered in blood with the possible murder weapon in her hands by a sheriff who arrested her at the scene (probable cause so no warrant needed) and read her her rights at which time all she did was to laugh.

It's a small town and she was taken to county Jail and processed, then brought before a judge. She is not speaking or responding to any questions even to confirm her name, social security number, date of birth, and she has no ID. (Sheriff has her name from previously talking to her dad) She has not asked for an attorney.

The judge deduces from her not speaking that she could have mental problems and the horrfific MO of the murder, but regardless, there is probable cause. He doesn't  have any background information other than she has lived off the grid with her dad (The victim) and is capabable of living off the land and in fact was running away from home at the time of the incident to live in the wilds. (info from town sheriff)

So after the DA prosecutor lays out events, some of which is that forensics have been unable to process the scene due to a snow storm, the judge determines that he wants to find out if she is mentaly capabable of going to trial and on that basis, together with the prosecutor arguing she could be a flight risk, he declines bail and instead orders that she be held at the county jail and orders a psychiatric evaluation report.

He also orders that in the interim council be appointed, then sets a pre-trial conference to discuss the psychiatric report, because at that stage all criminal proceeding are suspended.

Later the psychiatrist's report will clear her for trial and the forensics will come in and there will be full disclosure and an arraignment date is set. 

In the county jail while awaiting trial, she'll no longer be isolated and have to wear a yellow suit but a different color and she can have books from the library and mix with the other prisoners and she will be allowed visits.

It sounds good, but the judge will appoint her a public defender BEFORE any mental examination can be done. She will be appointed somebody at her first appearance if she can't afford an attorney. NOTHING can happen in her case until she gets an attorney. Full stop. That's in the Constitution, the Sixth Amendment. The right to counsel means that you must have counsel representing you before anything can go forward, including a mental examination.

If she's awaiting trial, she can be a trustee in jail, which means that she gets some privileges that others cannot. She has to earn that, though. I believe that most of the people in general jail population get access to books, though. In Missouri, anyhow, the people in jail awaiting trial cannot get an in-person visit except for professional visits with attorneys and other professionals. The family members have to talk to them on a phone, like in the movies. Jail trustees do wear different color jumpsuits, so maybe make her a trustee if you would like her to have more privileges.

Again, though, YMMV, because every jurisdiction has different rules. The only rule that applies to everyone, regardless of jurisdiction, is that NOTHING happens on a case before the defendant gets an attorney. And that means nothing, except maybe having their charges read to them from the bench. Sometimes that happens before there's an attorney involved.

Hope this helps!
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 11:40:24 AM by anniejocoby »

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Re: Anyone know about pre-trial prisoners in the US?
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2017, 12:42:33 PM »
So the one thing I have wrong is the public defender for me to get the order right.

All I need to do then is to add another layer in front of the judge.

1st have him order a public defender.

2nd Have the public defender put forward his concerns as to her metal capability because she won't even talk to him.

Could that be done quickly as in the same day?



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Offline anniejocoby

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Re: Anyone know about pre-trial prisoners in the US?
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2017, 01:11:21 PM »
So the one thing I have wrong is the public defender for me to get the order right.

All I need to do then is to add another layer in front of the judge.

1st have him order a public defender.

2nd Have the public defender put forward his concerns as to her metal capability because she won't even talk to him.

Could that be done quickly as in the same day?



You definitely need to get the Public Defender on the case right away. In Missouri, the PD is assigned the case prior to the first appearance, sometimes after the first appearance, but usually before. The PD would usually do a jail visit before the initial appearance, so the PD would know if the client refuses to say anything. However, the PD would have to make a motion to the court to order the mental examination, and that's not usually done at the first appearance. The initial appearance is pretty much just the client being read the charges and given a date for a preliminary hearing or grand jury hearing (depends on the nature of the crime whether there's a preliminary hearing or a grand jury who decides if there is sufficient evidence to bound the person over for trial) and the judge who does the initial appearance is generally not the same judge who will be trying the case. In the county where I practiced, there were three judges - the judge who does the initial appearance, the judge who does the arraignment after the grand jury finds sufficient evidence to bound the person to trial, and then the trial judge. Typically, the motion for the mental examination would go before the trial judge, who is the third and final judge.

But YMMV. That's just one judicial circuit. Every judicial circuit is going to have different rules. In a small town, I doubt that they go through the same rigamarole. Even if they don't, however, I would think that you would have to at least wait to be assigned a trial judge and get the client through the grand jury or preliminary hearing process before you can do your proper motion for a mental examination, so I doubt that the topic would come up at the initial appearance.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 01:13:01 PM by anniejocoby »

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Offline Alpaca Lou

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Re: Anyone know about pre-trial prisoners in the US?
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2017, 01:36:23 PM »
Actually that's good info as it could be used as a false threat to get her to cooperate.

They wouldn't be allowed to do that, though. If she's been accused of a state crime (like murder) then there'd be no chance of her getting sent to the supermax. Also, ADX Florence is a men's only institution - there are no mixed-gender prisons in the US.

Offline cdk

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Re: Anyone know about pre-trial prisoners in the US?
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2017, 01:52:29 PM »
Quote
So . . . Could that be done quickly as in the same day?

Yes.  Frequently it's done all at the same time.  A lot of courts have video arraignments where inmates are no longer transported to the courthouse, but assuming you have a traditional in-court, in-custody arraignment, the judge would call your character's case, People v. Jones, read the Penal Code sections alleged in the criminal complaint, and ask your character how she pleads.  Instead of answering, your character would say nothing with a blank stare on her face.  The judge might ask a few more questions before he/she concludes there may be an issue with your character's mental competency.  The judge appoints the public defender, and then puts the case aside and tells the bailiff to snag a public defender.  There's usually a PD at the courthouse somewhere in another department, perhaps taking pleas in the courtroom next door, and if not, the judge would have his/her court clerk call the PD's Office to send over a deputy for an in-custody arraignment.  When the PD appears before the judge 10 minutes later, the judge explains his/her attempt to arraign your character but suspects there may be an issue of mental competence and asks the PD to talk to his/her client.  The judge or court clerk will hand the PD the court file and while the PD is talking to your character, the judge continues to arraign the in-custody defendants.  The PD tries to talk to your character for about 15 minutes, but she/he's unsuccessful.  Since your character is in custody, she's either seated in the jury box or behind a glass partition.  When the PD realizes she/he cannot communicate with your character and determines the judge may be right that your character may not be mentally competent to stand trial, the PD will return the court file to the court clerk, wait until the judge finishes his/her current arraignment, interrupt the judge before he/she starts another arraignment and say, "If your honor will return to the Jones matter.  I have unsuccessfully tried to communicate with my client and she appears to be nonresponsive.  I suspect there's a possibility that my client may not be mentally competent to stand trial and ask the court to order a 1368 psych evaluation, and put this matter back on calendar in three weeks after the reports have been filed."  The whole thing takes about 30 to 40 minutes depending on how long it takes to find a PD.

Offline Decon

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Re: Anyone know about pre-trial prisoners in the US?
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2017, 04:43:58 PM »
That's sounds like a plan to fit exactly with what I had in mind.


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