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What are Community Probation Services?

Article Details
  • Written By: Misty Amber Brighton
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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Individuals on probation are monitored and assisted with issues related to their probation by officers who provide a number of community probation services. This could involve supervising offenders, making reports, testing for drug use, and providing counseling. People may receive probation as a condition of being released from jail or in lieu of serving prison time. During this time, they may be assigned to do community service or look for work. They may also be required to attend counseling and refrain from using alcohol or drugs.

Many community probation services are designed to help an offender make a smooth transition into society after serving a sentence. This could involve training them for new jobs and helping them find work. It might also include checking up with their employers to see how they are doing after they have been employed for some time.

People who work in community probation services may visit the homes of their clients. This is done in order to make sure they are not violating the law or any conditions of their probation. Visits are often unannounced in order to keep people from participating in activities they are forbidden to do.

Other times, offenders are required to report to community probation services on a regular basis. This is often weekly when they are first placed on probation, and might be less frequent as the end of their sentence nears. Individuals might meet with a caseworker to discuss their progress in finding work, securing housing, or paying fines. A formal report of these meetings is often made to document the progress of an offender, or the lack thereof.

Community probation services are sometimes required to perform drug and alcohol testing on their clients. Clients might be tested on a regular basis, or randomly if illegal activity is suspected. Officers might also make appointments for clients to attend drug and alcohol counseling if these classes are a condition of their probation.

Workers at community probation services are often called to testify in court. This can be when an individual is charged with violating his probation. A probation officer often tells the judge about her dealings with an offender and presents evidence to corroborate her testimony. Written reports may be introduced as evidence to the individual's noncompliance.

People who perform this type of work often have experience in law enforcement or community corrections. College courses in criminal justice could also be helpful. Some jurisdictions may require on-the-job training for these professionals as well.

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