• A way to monitor the activities and behavior of defendants released to the community.
• An opportunity to help defendants reintegrate into the community.
• An alternative to prison that costs less than incarceration and gives convicted defendants the opportunity to live with their families, hold jobs, and be productive members of society.
If supervision (probation or supervised release) is ordered by the court, the case will be assigned to a probation officer. The probation officer is responsible for ensuring that defendants obey the law and comply with court-ordered conditions of supervision.
Conditions of Supervision
At the start of supervision, a probation officer will fully explain the conditions of supervision to the defendant. These include mandatory conditions that the court imposes on all defendants. The court may also order discretionary conditions, known as special conditions, to address risk-related issues specific to a particular defendant. Special conditions may include, but are not limited to, location monitoring, substance abuse testing or treatment, mental health treatment, and disclosure of financial information.
Process of Supervision
When supervision begins, the probation officer will schedule a meeting with the defendant and have him/her complete a risk assessment questionnaire. This helps the officer develop an individualized supervision plan. The supervision plan will address obstacles that may impede a defendant’s ability or desire to complete supervision successfully and provide for services such as substance abuse or mental health treatment.
Throughout the term of supervision, the probation officer will reassess the defendant’s needs and potential risk(s). Continued assessments allow the probation officer to adjust his/her personal contact and interventions with the defendant. Officers will continue to monitor defendants until the term of supervision expires or until supervision is terminated by the court.