Most offenders who receive a probation grant will be assigned to Standard Probation Supervision, monitored by a probation officer stationed in one of the department’s four area offices. Standard Probation guidelines are contained in the statewide Conditions of Probation and are supplemented, as necessary, with special conditions tailored to the risks and needs presented by individual offenders. These risks and needs are determined through assessments gleaned from the Offender Screening Tool (OST), the Field Reassessment Offender Screening Tool (FROST), and other types of evaluations.
Supervision levels are assigned based on the offender’s risk of re-offending in the community and dictate the appropriate number of home and in-office contacts with the offender. Probation officers are responsible for collecting court-ordered financial assessments and maintaining complete records of offenders’ compliance while on probation. Officers are also responsible for bringing defaulting probationers back to court and have the authority to make warrantless searches and arrests. The average caseload size for a Standard Probation officer is 60 offenders.
Protection of the community is a probation officer’s primary concern, but research has shown that modifying an offender’s behavior can be as important as surveillance.
To that end, the department offers offenders the opportunity to enter substance abuse programs, receive counseling for a variety of problems, engage in education programs, and connect with a wide range of other resources in the social services network.