What is the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI)?
The Pretrial Intervention Program (“PTI”) provides defendants, generally first-time offenders, with the chance to undergo treatment rather than face New Jersey’s drug offense penalties, as they would in the case of ordinary prosecution. The PTI program is based on a rehabilitative model that recognizes that there may be an apparent causal connection between the offense charged and the rehabilitative needs of a defendant.
Early rehabilitative services can reasonably be expected to deter future criminal behavior. Further, the rehabilitative model emphasizes that social, cultural, and economic conditions often result in a defendant’s decision to commit crime.
PTI is a program that is set forth in the Specifically, Rule 3:28 in the state’s Rules of Court. The rule sets forth the specific requirements of PTI and also provides guidelines for admission. PTI strives to solve personal problems which tend to result from the conditions that appear to cause crime, and ultimately, to deter future criminal or disorderly behavior by a defendant.
What Are The Benefits of the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI)?
- If PTI is successfully completed, there is no record of conviction and the defendant avoids the stigma of a criminal record.
- Early intervention allows rehabilitative services to be provided soon after the alleged offense, in an attempt to correct the behavior that led to the offense.
- Many of the costs associated with the formal court process are eliminated through acceptance into PTI.
- PTI provides early resolution of a case which serves the interests of the victim, the public and the defendant.
- PTI reduces the burden on the court and allows resources to be devoted to more serious criminals.
What are the Conditions for Participation In Pretrial Intervention?
Supervision under the PTI program may average from one to three years. Certain standard conditions are imposed on those accepted into PTI, such as, random urine monitoring, and assessments for fees, penalties and fines.
Additional conditions may also be imposed to require the performance of community service, payment of restitution, and submission to psychological and/or drug and alcohol evaluations with compliance to recommended treatment programs. If the person charged with a crime successfully completes their program (such as undergoing substance abuse treatment instead of criminal consequences), then the original charges are dismissed and there is no record of conviction.
If a defendant does not successfully complete the conditions of PTI, then the defendant is terminated from the PTI program and the case is returned to the trial list.