The probation department's decisions influence public safety since we recommend which offenders will be released back to their communities. Probation serves as the "eyes and ears of the local court". No other justice agency is involved with the offender and his/her case as comprehensively as the probation department. The probation department interacts with the courts, the prosecutors, and other law enforcement agencies to provide unbiased data that influences each of their processing decisions.
Responsibilities of the probation department include:
- Intake - processing all referrals from law enforcement (arrest and/or citations).
- Investigation - securing background information on the offender and preparing a report to submit to the court prior to disposition. The report contains recommendations that address the identified needs of the individual and a case service plan.
- Supervision - providing ongoing contact with the offender to insure the orders of the court are followed.
Conditions of Probation
Probation orders contain specific conditions intended to monitor, control, and assist the probationer in leading a law-abiding life in the community. The Judge’s (and probation officer’s) required conditions usually fall into one of three realms:
- Standard Conditions - These are imposed on probationers and include such requirements as:
- Reporting to the probation office
- Notifying the agency of any change of address
- Remaining gainfully employed
- Not leaving the jurisdiction without permission.
- Special Conditions - These conditions are usually established to reflect the seriousness of the offense. Examples include: fines, community service, victim restitution, house arrest, and drug testing.
- Treatment Conditions - These conditions are imposed to encourage probationers to deal with significant problems or needs such as: substance abuse, family counseling, or vocational training.