Philip F. Pisani, Director
Charlene M. LaPreste, Assistant Director
Address: Courthouse Basement, 201 W. Front St. Media, PA 19063
Hours of Operation: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
The overall responsibility of the Bail Agency/Pre-Trial Services is to ensure that the community is protected and that all defendants are held accountable to the conditions of bail as determined by the District Justice and/or the Court of Common Pleas.
The bail interviewer meets with the defendant and necessary information is obtained and verified. During this time, a criminal history report is compiled to assess a defendant's eligibility for bail. Bail recommendations are in compliance with the Pennsylvania Rules of Bail.
Numerous hearings and interviews are conducted using video teleconferencing, which reduces the security risk involved with moving individuals in custody.
The Pre-Trial Diversionary Program enables appropriate offenders to be diverted from prison back into the community. A full investigation is conducted and determination is based on strict criteria including, but not limited to, type and severity of the offense, prior criminal history, detainer(s), and/or any open case history.
The Diversionary Program has not only reduced prison over-crowding, it has provided a substantial fiscal savings for those offenders who would otherwise remain incarcerated while awaiting trial.
Adult and juvenile offenders placed in the program are closely monitored using electronic home monitoring systems that have Global Positions Services (GPS) capabilities. The conditions for pre-trial release may include drug and alcohol testing and outpatient treatment.
Information is gathered and presented at Bail Habeas, Revocation, Rule Act 150 and PFA (Protection from Abuse) Hearings to determine what is necessary to ensure a Defendant's appearance at court proceedings. We also participate in Juvenile Right to Detain Hearings in the event of a violation of electronic home monitoring. A representative from the Bail Office will examine the nature of charges, with particular attention being paid to whether the offense involves violence or substance abuse. We also take into consideration whether the person was on probation or parole at the time of the arrest, the seriousness of danger to others in the community and evidence of Defendant's character. The court is provided with a list of guidelines from the Pennsylvania State Titled Release Criteria.
A Defendant identified as a veteran during the time of a bail interview will have his/her information sent to the appropriate offices to verify eligibility for Veterans Court.
The Bail Agency and Pre-Trial Services Unit continues its efforts to provide the court system with the most recent and valid information by being active in the Justice Network (JNET) operating in conjunction with the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).
All questions regarding Bail Money, Postings, and Refunds should be referred to the Office of Judicial Support at 610-891-4374/4369.