What is Probation?

Supervision is a dynamic process throughout which officers are to keep informed and––consistent with the conditions of release and individual circumstances––intervene with strategies designed to manage risk and provide offenders with the tools and social services they may require to succeed. It is through such intervention in higher risk cases that officers further the goal of public safety during the period of supervision and beyond. 

Officers carry out these responsibilities by assessing the risks, needs and strengths of each offender to determine the appropriate level of supervision; and then utilizing skills from various disciplines to simultaneously monitor and, as necessary, control and correct offender behavior. These include the investigation skills of law enforcement, but to the primary purpose of planning for success rather than documenting failure. They include the treatment and service delivery skills of social workers, but with a primary focus on improving circumstances that are linked to criminal behavior (e.g., substance abuse; mental health; employment; education; family/community support). 

Officers maintain awareness and, depending on the circumstances and conditions in the case, implement restrictive and correctional strategies to encourage pro-social behavior and facilitate positive change. This multidimensional role does not mean that each officer is expected to be an expert in all areas. Rather, officers are to serve as participating case managers, both aware of their own strengths and limitations, and knowledgeable of the range of expertise available in their offices and communities. 

Officers exercise their authority judiciously, using only those supervision strategies that are sufficient, but not greater than necessary, to accomplish sentencing purposes in the individual case. They treat all offenders, colleagues, and community partners with dignity and respect. Establishing rapport and maintaining a dialogue with offenders, family members, employers, community service providers and others is the fundamental work of the supervision officer. Listening and inquiring are his or her primary tools. 

The supervision mission is to execute the sentence, to protect the community by reducing the risk and recurrence of crime, and to maximize offender success during the period of supervision and beyond. 

The goal in all cases is the successful completion of the term of supervision during which the offender commits no new crimes, is held accountable for victim, family and community responsibilities, and prepares for continued success through improvements in his or her conduct and condition.

Who are Probation Officers? See this link from the Administrative Office's site.