The Field Services Division (FSD) oversees and supports probation officers stationed throughout the courts in their efforts to create safer communities by holding probationers accountable while helping them make positive changes in their lives. We do this by utilizing a variety of proven evidence-based practices, including a risk-need-responsivity assessment tool and community supervision practices.
Probation officers use this risk-need-responsivity tool to identify and target probationers’ criminal risk factors and address needs to help change criminal behavior.
The risk-need-responsivity tool helps probation officers identify and target needs such as substance abuse, mental health, and cognitive skill building.
The probationer’s needs are then factored into a supervision plan that the probationer and probation officer develop together and work on for the duration of the probationary period.
Once the assessment has been completed and the factors driving a person’s criminal behavior are determined, those factors are addressed with the probationer in the formulation of a Probationer Individual Change Agreement (PICA).
The FSD also conducts regular audits of all operational functions of the various probation departments, including assessments, supervision, dispute resolution services and investigations.
Victims services is another important function of the FSD. The newly created Victim Services Unit currently provides victims and survivors of crime with advocacy, support and outreach in certain geographic areas of Massachusetts. The MPS is in the process of expanding enhanced victim services statewide.