Create a Website Account - Manage notification subscriptions, save form progress and more.
Show All Answers
Probation supervision is an alternative to incarceration option to address criminal behavior in the criminal court system or as a deterrent for unacceptable behavior in family court that helps influence law abiding behavior while allowing the probationer to continue to reside and function in the community without the drawbacks of incarceration or placement.
Probation supervision influences law abiding behavior by requiring a probationer to abide by court ordered terms and conditions that restrict a probationer’s criminal or unwanted behavior and often includes certain treatment requirements or basic mandates the probationer must follow.
A probation sentence may include specific supervision terms such as attending substance abuse treatment, Drug Treatment Court, mental health counseling, sex offender treatment, refraining from entering a bar, submitting to drug or alcohol tests, drivers license restrictions, ignition interlock requirements, house arrest or curfews, community service and paying restitution among other terms as needed. Please see our Terms and Conditions Court/Client Forms.
The obvious benefit to probation supervision is that a person can be held accountable for a crime or poor behavior, and still be able to function within the community without the restrictions of incarceration or placement. Unlike a straight incarceration term or placement, a person placed on probation can continue their employment, take care of their family, earn money to pay financial obligations. They can attend treatment programs and attend school or college, all while they are monitored by a probation officer and restricted to law abiding behavior.
Probation supervision lightens the jail population by allowing people to be under supervision instead of locked up in jail or prison. Although a probation sentence can be coupled with a jail term, most often probation is a sentence in and of itself and helps people avoid incarceration all together. This helps drastically reduce the prison population while giving the probationer the opportunity to make positive behavioral changes through access to services and treatment in the community. On average, there are more people under probation supervision in New York State than there are people incarcerated through the Department of Community Corrections or under Parole Supervision combined. Another benefit is actual costs between incarceration and probation. In general, incarceration costs anywhere from 10-15 times more than the amount of the cost to supervise someone under probation. Probation supervision results in a major cost savings to both the counties and New York State by diverting so many people away from the jail/prison system.
There are generally two ways someone can be placed under probation supervision, either through a criminal court sentence or family court order.
In Criminal Court- A person must be charged with a crime. The court will order an informational investigation to be completed by probation. See investigations under General Services. If there is a conviction and it is appropriate, a sentence of probation supervision can be issued by the court. If required or appropriate and there is an adjudication as a youthful offender, a disposition ordering probation supervision can be issued. Sometimes Interim Probation can also be used in the criminal court system. That is when a person is found guilty of a crime, but not sentenced yet. That person can be placed on Interim Probation Supervision for 1 to 2 years to see how they will comply with supervision. If they do well, then they can be brought back to court after their interim term for a sentence that is adjusted according to their behavior while supervised. If they do well, it is usually a lesser sentence than it would have originally been. If they do poorly, they can then be sentenced to the maximum or appropriately adjusted term based on their poor behavior.
In Family Court- A respondent must be found to be a Juvenile Delinquent or Person In Need of Supervision in Family Court to be placed under probation supervision. Refer to our JD and PINS section under General Services for more details. A Pre-Dispositional Investigation is typically ordered for case details and sentencing options, and if appropriate, the respondent is ordered to probation with appropriate supervision terms.
After receiving a court order placing a person on probation, a probation officer is assigned to the case. In Schuyler County, it is usually the same officer that conducted the investigation on the individual so there is familiarity between the two. The officer will then contact the probationer and set up an intake appointment. The officer will review what is expected from the probationer as outlined in the court ordered supervision terms, as well as any required office visits, home visits and collateral contacts that they will have to meet. After making sure the probationer has been read and understands each probation term precisely, they will be given copies of any paperwork needed and create a case plan with the probationer based on those probation terms to meet the courts goals and accomplish the desired positive behavioral change.
These are ways that a probation officer keeps in touch with a probationer and checks up on how they are complying with their terms and conditions. A probation officer must keep in constant contact with each probationer to monitor their behavior and compliance with requirements. They are placed in a supervision status and assigned a risk level based on an assessment that is conducted, and that determines how often they must report to our office to check in with their officer. It also determines how often we perform home visits and how many collateral contacts we conduct to verify they are complying with the court requirements.
Office visits are required to maintain in person contact with our probationers. A probationers address and phone number are typically verified in each visit. Standard information is exchanged during office visits such as how the probationer is doing in treatment, at school or work or at home. If problems occur, longer meetings take place to discuss them. Home visits happen less often but are also required frequently to follow up on compliance and monitor behavior in the home. An officer may visit a probationer’s home at any time that they feel it is appropriate and necessary to enforce or monitor probation conditions. An officer has the authority, per a court order, to verify a probationer’s residence and search their property or their person to determine their compliance with their supervision requirements. Collateral contacts are when an officer talks with a person affiliated with the probationer. This can be a treatment provider, parent, teacher, employer, police officer, anyone who may have contact with the probationer that can provide probation with helpful information regarding their compliance and behavioral progress. All of these functions are performed to make sure the probationer is complying with their terms and conditions as ordered by the court.
They are similar in concept, but how a person arrives at each form of supervision is different. Both services are also operated and governed by separate bodies of authority. Probation is generally run by a county government, and parole is run by the state. Probation is similar to parole in that there is a supervising officer who watches over an individual to make sure they are abiding by a set of specific conditions while influencing appropriate behavior and enforcing community safety. Probation supervision is a sentence or original sanction by itself that is ordered by the court. Someone on parole supervision would have originally been sentenced to a state prison term as their primary disposition. Parole supervision may be granted for an inmate who is released early from incarceration, it allows them to be under the supervision of a parole officer while they complete the remainder of their prison time outside of the actual facility. Parole can also assist parolees to transition back into the community after their release.
Although our department is not bound by the same confidentiality as a medical treatment provider, we still respect the confidentiality of our probationers. Our Officers will not release personal or confidential information to anyone about a probationer unless it is legally permitted or allowable and also related to accomplishing compliance with their mandates or for enforcing public safety. However, our officers can take any information from the public to assist them in supervising our probationers and investigate any tips to discover if a probation violation may have occurred. Contact us at 607-535-8165 or Contact Us with any information regarding a probationer that you feel may have violated their probation requirements.
A Violation of Probation is when a probationer does not follow the court ordered terms and conditions. It could include new criminal behavior or arrest charges, failure to cooperate with treatment services, use of illicit substances, or repeatedly missed office visits. A violation might be anything that a probationer does that is contrary to the court ordered supervision requirements to influence the positive behavioral change desired by the court. The supervising probation officer will review any suspected violation behavior to determine an appropriate course of action. If the officer determines a violation is appropriate and required, then they will file a written violation notification to the court that holds legal jurisdiction over the probationer’s case.
After a probationer has broken a court ordered condition, the supervising probation officer has several options to consider as sometimes they have discretion on how to proceed. They may discuss the infraction with the probationer. If the infraction is small and happened once, or infrequently, then the officer may simply discuss the issue with the probationer, give them a warning not to do it again, and pay close attention to the behavior making sure it is not repeated. If the infraction is a serious one, or a small but frequent problem, then the officer may file a written notice of violation to the court notifying the judge of the infraction with a recommendation on what to do with the probationer moving forward.
A probation officer must always include a recommendation as to the disposition of a case when filing a violation. The officer should be very familiar with the case and should have the best knowledge on what outcome would be most beneficial to the probationer as well as the community as a result. Recommendations could include reengaging in a treatment program, a short term of incarceration with probation continued, community service, and even up to revocation of probation supervision followed by a new sentence of incarceration if appropriate.
The terms for probation supervision are up to 3 years supervision for a misdemeanor, up to 5 years of supervision for a felony, up to 6 years of supervision for a misdemeanor sex offense and up to 10 years of supervision for a felony sex offense.
Yes. The court holding jurisdiction is the only authority that can grant an early discharge from probation supervision. The policy of Schuyler County Probation is that a probationer must serve at a minimum, one half of their term of probation and be in good standing with their court orders before an early discharge can be recommended from a probation officer to the court.
No, police and probation officers are different. Police Officers have authority over a population of people that are within a geographical jurisdiction, usually a township, county, or state. Police officers enforce all laws in their geographical jurisdiction and are generally required to act when a law is broken in that area. A probation officer is defined as a peace officer under NYS Criminal Procedure Law 2.10. Probation officers have authority over a population of people that are ordered to be under their supervision. They enforce very specific rules and some laws that are outlined in orders issued to them by the courts. Probation officers are generally not required to immediately act if a probation term or law is broken. A Probation officer usually exists and operates within their county borders within in each state. However, there are federal probation offices and officers that work within the federal government and cross state borders and boundaries.
Probation Officers powers are defined under Criminal Procedural Law 2.20, powers of arrest can be found in CPL 140.25, searches under CPL 410.50 and use of physical force and deadly physical force under Penal Law article 35.30. All of those powers are also regulated and outlined within each county’s own individualized probation policy manual.
Please write to us at Contact Us and we will answer and post them as soon as possible. We hope this website has been informative and helpful in learning more about your local probation office and the workings of probation supervision within New York State.