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Advisory Mass. Probation Service supervision practices in response to COVID-19

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Administrative supervision practices

In response to COVID-19, Courthouses are closed to the public. Only emergency matters are being handled by the courts through April 6, 2020. 

During this period, the Massachusetts Probation Service is implementing a series of administrative supervision practices.   To the extent practicable, face to face contacts will be minimized.  Probation Officers will utilize telephone contact in the enforcement of court ordered conditions. This approach balances the competing demands for public safety oversight, protection for crime victims, as well as addressing health risks for Probation Service staff and individuals on probation in the Commonwealth. 

Individuals under probation supervision will be contacted shortly by their supervising Probation Officer with regard to their specific administrative supervision requirements.

Considerations of public safety and public health and welfare will factor into what and how conditions are ordered by the court and in decisions regarding their enforcement. 

All decisions are made specific to a particular case, however the Massachusetts Trial Court and its Probation Service recognize the extraordinary challenges to probationers during this time and will weigh any mitigating factors with regard to compliance in any decision making. 

The Trial Court undertakes this approach mindful of the demands on its staff, law enforcement, health care institutions, jails and prisons, individuals under supervision as well as the community at large during this challenging time.