On September 27, 1982, the Pretrial Services Act was signed into law by the President, mandating that pretrial services functions be provided in each judicial district except the District of Columbia. Initially, pretrial services in the Eastern District of Missouri was administered by the U.S. Probation Office. In the spring of 1987, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and the Eighth Circuit Judicial Council decided to establish a separate pretrial Services Office. On September 21, 1987, R. James Behm was sworn in as the Chief United States Pretrial Services Officer. On May 24, 1996, Mr. Behm resigned to become Chief United States Probation Officer in the Eastern District of Missouri. On November 1, 1996, Eugene C. Kain, Jr., was sworn in as the Chief United States Pretrial Services Officer. On April 2, 2009, Cynthia Bochantin was sworn in as Chief United States Pretrial Services Officer, following Eugene Kain’s retirement on March 31, 2009.
At inception, the Pretrial Services Office in the Eastern District of Missouri consisted of one Chief Pretrial Services Officer, one Pretrial Services Officer, one Chief Clerk, and one Clerk. By 2009 staff in this district had grown to include one Chief Pretrial Services Officer, one Deputy Chief Pretrial Services Officer, two Supervising Pretrial Services Officers, seven Senior Pretrial Services Officers (Contract Treatment Services Specialist, two Electronic Monitoring Specialists, Special Services Specialist, Divisional Officer in Charge, Defendant Workforce Development/Diversion Specialist, and Training/Safety Specialist), six Pretrial Services Officers, one Administrative Analyst, and support staff. Student Interns at the undergraduate and graduate level also complete practicums at the Pretrial Services Office. In 1994, a satellite office was opened in Cape Girardeau to serve the court in Southeastern Missouri.
The Pretrial Services Office covers forty-eight counties within the State of Missouri, in addition to the City of St. Louis. Pretrial Services Officers are assigned particular geographical areas, and are responsible for the supervision of individuals residing in those areas.