The pretrial services department conducts an initial investigation for all defendants who appear before a Magistrate Judge for a bond determination in the Eastern District of Michigan. Upon completion of the pretrial investigative interview , the assigned pretrial services officer will complete a pretrial services report and make a recommendation to the Magistrate Judge whether the defendant should be detained or released, with specific recommendations regarding conditions of release set forth in 18 USC § 3142.
The pretrial services report will be shared with the Magistrate Judge, Assistant United States Attorney, and the defendant attorney. The report will detail the defendant's history and characteristics, including ties to the community, financial situation, prior criminal history if any, employment history, substance abuse history and other important factors. It is essential that the attorney and defendant's family contact the pretrial services officer completing the investigation to confirm the defendant's ties to the community, personal history or characteristics, and identify any third party custodians in support of defendant's release. The main focus of the pretrial services report is to advise the court on the two most important factors which the court must weigh when setting bond: the danger to the community posed by the defendant and the risk of flight should the defendant be released. If the government shows that the defendant is either a danger or a flight risk, or both, then the burden shifts to the defendant to show that there are factors that mitigate those risks, so that release with conditions are appropriate.