The Field Services Division (FSD) provides oversight, support, assistance, and training to the probation officers stationed throughout the courts in the Commonwealth in their efforts to reduce recidivism of offenders placed on probation supervision. Providing officers with the skills and tools needed to contribute to safer communities by holding offenders placed on probation accountable while helping them to change their criminal behavior is a priority.
Utilizing a variety of Evidence-Based Practices such as the implementation of a validated, robust Risk/Need Assessment tool and community supervision practices, officers are able to accurately identify and target an offender’s criminal risk factors as well as needs that when addressed, will support the offender in changing their criminal behavior. Identified needs such as substance abuse, mental health and cognitive skill building are factored into a probationer’s supervision plan that the probationer and probation officer develop together and work on for the duration of the probationary period.
Probation Officers of the Juvenile Court work with children and families who are before the court for Delinquency, Youthful Offender, Child Requiring Assistance and Care/Protection cases.
Delinquency cases are all children who are brought to court and charged with a crime. Children and families work with a Probation Officer to follow the orders of the Court and to promote law-abiding behavior.
Youthful Offender cases are juveniles who have been charged with a serious crime and may be sentenced in one of three ways, as a juvenile, a combination of juvenile and adult sentence or as an adult.
Child Requiring Assistance is for Runaway, Stubborn, Truant, Habitual School Offender and Sexually Exploited Children. Probation Officers work with the child and family to put them back on the right path. Often times Probation Officers will work with Teachers, School Resource Officers, Guidance Counselors, Therapists, Clergy, Department of Children and Families case workers, Department of Youth Services case workers, Assistant District Attorneys and other individuals who are willing and able to promote positive behavior.
Care and Protection cases are cases that involve children who have suffered from abuse and/or neglect. The Court makes decisions based on what is in the best interest of the child. Should they stay with their parents or should they have someone else look after their well being.
Probate and Family
The Probate and Family Court Department has jurisdiction over family matters such as: divorce, paternity, child support, custody, visitation, adoption, termination of parental rights and abuse prevention orders. Probate matters include jurisdiction over wills, administrations, guardianship of minors and adults, conservatorship and change of name petitions.
Probation Officers in the Probate and Family Court perform dispute resolution services with litigants appearing before the Court on contested matters. They also conduct investigations at the request of the Justices and perform supervision of litigants who may be ordered to perform community service or report on their efforts to secure employment. Probate Probation Officers also perform drug and alcohol testing and participate in programs intended to enhance parenting skills.
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