Probation & Community Corrections
The County is required by State Executive Law to maintain a Probation Department according to specified rules and regulations. County Probation departments are monitored by the State Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives as to operational compliance with the law and receive State aid reimbursement upon compliance. The Department serves the Supreme Court, the County Court, the Family Court and 42 local criminal courts within the County. It operates three major divisions with several programs in each division - Adult Probation Services; Family and Youth Services; and Alternative to Incarceration Programs. Although protection of society is the most significant objective of this Department, reparation of damages done in the commission of crimes and restitution, fines and surcharges are also important functions. However, Probation is the major function of the Department and is a sentence where the offender is permitted to remain in the community on condition of good behavior under the supervision of a Probation Officer. When ordered by a Court, in relation to a juvenile or adult criminal disposition, the Department investigates and submits a report concerning the circumstances of the offense, past legal record and social history of the individual, and provides the Court with victim statements and losses. When a court has sentenced an individual on probation, the Department instructs and advises him or her regarding probation; keeps informed of the probationer's conduct, associates, employment, and whereabouts; encourages the probationer to improve his or her conduct, economic condition, and social attitudes. Those individuals who do not comply with their provisions of Probation or commit new offenses are referred back to Court. The Family and Youth Services Division assists persons in obtaining access to Family Court for matters pertaining to family offenses, custody, visitation, paternity and investigates these matters when ordered by the Court. Probation Officers process and investigate Juvenile Delinquent and Person In Need of Supervision referrals and provide counseling, supervision and auxiliary services for these youth under the provisions of the Family Court Act. The Department's Alternatives to Incarceration Unit administers a Pre-Trial Release Program, Community Service Programs, an Alcohol/Drug Intervention Program, Intensive Supervision Program and an Electronic Home Detention Program. These Programs provide sentencing options to the Courts to reduce over-reliance of incarcerative sentence for non-violent offenders.