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Find out what probation officers do

Learn about the role probation officers have in the probation process.

Probation officer responsibilities

Probation officers monitor and enforce the orders of the court and work with people to foster positive behavior change. Positive changes in behavior lead to fewer victims, safer communities, and better lives.

When someone on probation, called a probationer, doesn't follow court orders, it's the probation officer’s responsibility to bring the offender before the court. If a probationer violates a court order, their probation officer will order them to appear before the court. The probation officer may recommend additional conditions (or sanctions) to improve the probationer's behavior. This may include incarceration (prison or house of corrections). As part of their supervision, probation officers may visit probationers at home and in the community to make sure that they're following the terms of their probation sentence.

Probation programs and services

Probation officers also refer probationers to therapeutic and rehabilitative specialty programs. Probationers might also receive specialty services at the court or in a Community Corrections Center, such as:

  • Community service
  • Changing Lives Through Literature
  • Drug and Mental Health Courts
  • Electronic Monitoring (ELMO) Program
  • Parenting Initiatives: Mother and Fatherhood Programs
  • Prisoner Re-entry Program

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