Adult Probation Process
Adults are defined by the Court as anyone older than age 16. Below is a step-by-step explanation of the unit’s role in the criminal justice system, from investigation to supervision. The Department of Probation’s (DOP) primary goal is to build stronger and safer communities by fostering opportunities for probation clients to move out of the criminal justice system.
The Department of Probation is required by the State to submit a Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI) for any defendant who has been convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors that result in 1) probation; 2) incarceration for a term longer than 180 days; or 3) aggregating consecutive sentences longer than 90 days. The PSI is prepared upon the direction of the Court.
The purpose of the PSI is to help the Court reach an appropriate decision. The investigating Probation Officer:
- Interviews the defendant and all relevant parties, including victims (if applicable), in order to assess the extent of any physical, psychological or financial injuries.
- Analyzes the individual’s criminal, social, scholastic, psychological, health, employment, alcohol and/or substance abuse histories.
- Reviews all relevant court documents and verifies all addresses, visiting the home if necessary.
After a thorough investigation, the Department provides the judge with a sentence recommendation. In addition to helping the Court with sentencing, the PSI forms the basis of the Probation Supervision process.
Upon sentencing, a defendant may be placed on probation supervision from 1) one to six years for a misdemeanor, or 2) five to ten years for a felony conviction, in conjunction with a period of incarceration in a City jail (up to 6 months) instead of state imprisonment.
Supervision will often include referrals to community-based resources and programs designed to meet specific client needs.
DOP’s supervision model consists of the following tracks:
- Special Offender Unit (SOU) – SOU officers provide intensive supervision to probation clients who are at a higher risk of committing another crime. Clients assigned to SOU must meet one of the following criteria:
- Registered Sex Offender under the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA)
- Kendra’s Law psychiatric case
- Child abuser
- Domestic violence or history of domestic violence
- Confirmed as a major drug dealer or known to have a major gang affiliation or involvement
- Known to both State and Federal Witness Protection programs
- High-Risk (HR) – HR officers provide intensive supervision to probation clients who have a higher risk of committing another crime. The client’s score is based on their age, criminal history, and the number of victims identified.
- Reporting – Reporting Track officers monitor probation clients who were never classified as High-Risk or Special Offender, as well as clients who have been transferred from HR or SOU after having met all major requirements. Probation clients in the Reporting Track report directly to a kiosk but may also report to a probation officer.