Pre-Trial Program Specialist (#RL0505)
$27.29-$33.17 Hourly / $4,730.15-$5,749.53 Monthly / $56,761.91-$68,994.45 Yearly


Under general supervision, performs support work for the Pre-Trial Services Unit of the Probation Department; interviews pre-arraignment criminal defendants and/or others to obtain criminal, social and/or other relevant background information; verifies, documents and evaluates the information obtained; identifies the defendant’s eligibility for release from custody based on policy and/or law; makes appropriate recommendations to the courts regarding whether or not to release the defendant; prepares required documentation and reports; and does related or other work as required in accordance with Rule 3, Section 3 of the Civil Service Rules.


This is the first class in the Pre-Trial Program Specialist series. Incumbents perform a wide range of duties that include interviewing of criminal defendants, background research, eligibility determination and legal documentation. Initially, incumbents work under close supervision, but as experience is gained, duties are performed with increasing independent authority and judgment. When training is complete, incumbents are expected to perform the full-range of journey-level tasks associated with this series. This class is distinguished from the class of Pre-Trial Senior Program Specialist because incumbents at that higher-level provide advanced support for the most difficult situations and serve as lead workers for a shift in addition to performing the full-range of duties typical to the series.


  • Interviews criminal defendants and others to obtain accurate and necessary information regarding criminal, social and/or other relevant history; reviews arrest reports and other legal documents as needed to facilitate the interview process. 
  • Verifies information obtained from defendants and/or others by contacting references, researching available criminal justice databases, and/or contacting various criminal justice agencies as required; checks for local, state, and federal warrants; obtains California Department of Motor Vehicles history as necessary; interprets records as appropriate. 
  • Compiles, evaluates and assesses information obtained, including observed behavioral indicators that are relevant to eligibility for release; establishes defendant eligibility for release programs, such as Felony Own Recognizance Release, Citation Release, or Conditional Release programs; makes recommendations to release defendants utilizing established criteria, legal requirements, and educated judgment. 
  • Prepares complete and accurate reports, court/legal forms, summaries and/or other documents as required; prepares Pre-Trial packets and other files as assigned; prepares and obtains client/defendant signatures on various documents such as Promise to Appear (Misdemeanor Citation Release), Felony Own Recognizance or other forms; transports paperwork to the courts, Probation facilities, criminal justice agencies, or other locations as necessary. 
  • Responds to inquiries from judges, officers, attorneys and other members of the criminal justice community regarding defendants; facilitates probable cause hearings with on-call judges. Schedules defendants for court appearances and hearings based on established calendars; may be required to appear or testify in court.


Note: Incumbents who occupy full-time, Civil Service positions in the classes of Pre-Trial Services Interviewer I or II at the time that this class of Pre-Trial Program Specialist is adopted by the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors shall be considered to meet the qualifications listed below.

Education: Completion of 60 semester units at an accredited college or university, including at least 18 units in the social or behavioral sciences. 

Experience: One year working in a social services, law enforcement or criminal justice setting that included substantial responsibility for interviewing clients as part of case management or law enforcement duties, or to establish program eligibility. 

Substitution #1: An additional 30 semester college units (including 9 more in social or behavioral sciences) may substitute for the above-required experience. 

Substitution #2: Additional qualifying experience may substitute for the above-required education on a year for year basis (where one year of experience is equivalent to 30 semester units.) 

License: Possession of a valid driver’s license equivalent to a “Class C” in California.


Basic principles of human behavior and applied psychology, including issues common to criminal behavior; advanced interviewing techniques; basic court and arrest procedures; basic research and investigative methods/procedures; principles and practices of written and oral communication; language mechanics, report writing and principles of written composition; general computer operations.


Interview clients and obtain factual information in stressful situations; listen carefully during interviews to both content and presentation in order to identify questionable information; investigate, research and interpret information regarding a client’s criminal history, social and other background; interpret and apply complex laws, policies and procedures using considerable judgment; communicate effectively with a variety of people, both orally and in writing; effectively handle difficult situations; work well under pressure; develop and maintain good working relationships with a wide variety of people; utilize computers to retrieve and enter information.


Mobility-Operate a keyboard; sit for long periods; frequent walking and driving; occasional bending, squatting, crawling, climbing stairs; Lifting-Frequent lifting of 10 lbs. or less; occasional lifting 11-20 lbs.; Visual-Frequent use of good overall vision, reading, close up work, peripheral vision; Dexterity-Frequent reaching, repetitive motion, and writing; Hearing/Talking-Constant hearing and talking on the telephone, talking in person; occasional hearing faint sounds, public speaking; Emotional/Psychological Factors-Constant decision making and concentration; frequent exposure to issues of trauma, grief, death, hostility; frequent public contact; occasional exposure to hazardous or infectious materials; frequent working weekends/nights/overtime.

San Joaquin County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and, upon request, will consider reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

CLASS: RL0505; EST: 4/9/2003;