Innocent Until Proven Guilty: Finding the Passion to Guide Through Initial Appearance and Beyond


Tuesday, August 20, 2019
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Session Type: Workshop

The Initial Appearance Unit (IAU) is the first point of contact with pretrial services for those arrested in Maricopa County. In this interaction the foundation for pretrial and probation success is laid for those accused of offenses ranging from probation violation to homicide. The Maricopa County Adult Probation Department (MCAPD) IAU is tasked with balancing the needs of the criminal justice system while trying to initiate defendant buy-in; accordingly, officers must be capable of understanding the dynamics of effective communication and legal precedence. Many jurisdictions have been tasked with creating an effective pretrial program. For them, learning which skills have shown promise to increase defendant participation and reduce failure-to-appear rates is essential. To help other agencies to develop strategies, this presentation will explain what the MCAPD IAU is, why it uses probation officers, the impact of collaboration, and concepts that can assist defendants while supporting community safety and court appearance.


Zemora Davis
Probation Officer, Maricopa County Adult Probation

Zemora Davis, an Adult Probation Officer for Maricopa County, has been with the department for 3 years. She has worked the last 2 years with the Initial Appearance Unit.

Hepzebah Erwin
Adult Probation Officer, Maricopa County Adult Probation

Hepzebah Erwin has worked 6 years in Fairfax County Probation Officer II with Domestic Violence and Sex Offender Caseloads and worked as a VA State Certified Gang Specialist. She has 5 years’ experience with MCAPD and has been with Initial Appearance Unit for 6 months.

Beatriz Rodriguez
Adult Probation Officer, Maricopa County Adult Probation

Beatriz Rodriguez started her career as a Pretrial Services Officer with Superior Court in Maricopa County for 2 years. She then transitioned to APD Pretrial General Supervision for 2.5 years before becoming an MCAPD Initial Appearance Unit officer for 11 years.

Barbara Rubio
Adult Probation Supervisor, Maricopa County Adult Probation

Barbara Rubio has been with MCAPD for 8 years, working with Intensive Probation and Domestic Violence clients, with the past 2 years serving as a Supervisor over the Initial Appearance Unit.