Massachusetts Probation Service
Massachusetts Probation Service Fact Sheet
What is a Probation Officer?
What is the Role of Probation?
What is the Office of Commissioner
is a court-ordered sanction placed on a person convicted of a crime.
The offender is allowed to remain in the community under the strict
supervision of a probation officer. Massachusetts is the birthplace
of probation, which was created by an industrious Boston shoemaker
named John Augustus in 1841. Probation officially became part of
the court system in 1878.
is a Probation Officer?
integral part of the community, a probation officer provides protection
and service through the enforcement of court orders and the investigation,
supervision and monitoring of offenders. Probation officers provide
up-to-date information and recommendations to the courts. In 2000
(calendar year), there were 158,112 adults and juveniles under the
active supervision of a probation officer.
is the Role of Probation?
Office of the Commissioner of Probation (OCP) is
a department of the Massachusetts Trial Court System and one of
three offices operated by the Administrative Office of the Trial
Court. The other office is the Office of the Jury Commissioner.
officers in the District and Superior
Court probation departments supervise criminal
cases. Felony cases are handled by the Superior Court.
There are 12 Superior Courts and 70 District
Court probation officers statewide.
assigned to Juvenile Court supervise delinquency, youthful offenders,
neglect and abuse and Children in Need of Services (CHINS) cases.
There are 11 divisions of the Juvenile Court Department
in Barnstable, Berkshire, Bristol, Essex, Franklin/Hampshire, Hampden,
Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk and Worcester counties.
Probate and Family Court, officers handle civil
matters such as divorce and paternity and issues involving custody,
visitation and child support. There are 12 Probate and Family
Court probation departments statewide.
is the Office of the Commissioner of Probation?
Office of the Commissioner of Probation (OCP), located
in Boston, serves as the central administrative office for the
Massachusetts Probation Service, the Office of
Community Corrections and the Office of Community
by the Chief Justice for Administration and Management, the Commissioner
establishes standards for probation practice, provides training
to probation personnel, and qualifies individuals for appointment
as probation officers. The Commissioner's Office also conducts research
on statewide crime and delinquency trends.
Massachusetts Probation Service works in collaboration
with the community and local agencies to provide innovative programs
and services that directly benefit residents. The following is a partial
listing of programs run by probation officers and the Office of the
Commissioner of Probation (OCP).
and Mother's Programs.
Night Light Program.