Probation services are provided by probation departments, and are carried out in order to promote public safety. In addition, probation services seek to ensure that individuals are held liable for any crimes that they commit and that they are punished accordingly. A probation department offers a variety of different probation services.
In many instances, the services available will vary depending upon whether the cases involve juvenile offenders or adult offenders. For example, one probation service targeting juveniles is the assessment of family bonds. A probation officer will analyze family relationships, and provide advice on how to strengthen and improve these relationships. A probation department will also provide juvenile offenders with referrals to organizations that specialize in family counseling and substance abuse treatment.
The primary probation service focusing on adult offenders is supervision. A probation department will supervise the actions and behavior of released offenders to ensure that they to not threaten the health or well being of other members of the community. In the event that a violent offender is exhibiting indications that he/she may cause harm to another individual, a probation officer will report this to the court and offer suggestions on how to best address the situation.
The probation department will also ensure that a released offender adheres to all conditions of his/he probation, including maintaining a productive job and avoiding illegal substances. If an individual does not adhere to these specifications, a probation department will relay this information to the court and may suggest incarceration.