Definition of Probation
"Probation" means the release by a court of a person found guilty of a crime, upon verdict or plea, without imprisonment subject to conditions imposed by the court and subject to the supervision of the probation service.
Responsibilities of Probation Officers
It is the Probation Officer's responsibility to supervise and investigate the conduct, behavior, and progress of offenders assigned to them and to provide supervision progress reports to the court. Violation of any of the conditions of probation is potential cause for revocation by the court. Probation Officers report violations of probation to the court and may recommend what action should be imposed.
Probation Officers monitor behavior and broker services to help reintegrate offenders into society. Probation Officers' job duties include: preparing investigative reports for the court, presenting facts and evidence to the court at revocation hearings as well as other formal hearings, conducting home and employment visits, monitoring community service work, providing intensive supervision, acting as a community resource referral agent in attempting to meet the offenders needs based on the risk and needs assessment and locating absconders.
This program works with offender housing programs across the state. To find out more, click here.
For more information on offender employment, click here.
The Community Service Program, which is available to all offenders, provides services and assistance to non-profit and government agencies. Probation/Parole Officers are responsible for coordinating this program to facilitate appropriate assignments for the offenders and monitoring them to ensure the offenders are reporting to the agencies as agreed.
In FY 2007/2008, the Community Service Program contributed 192,745 hours of service to government and non profit agencies.
The Work Project Program, required by legislative action in 1984 and funded in 1985, is a special condition attached to probation certificates requiring offenders on probation to complete a specified number of work project hours in the community at no expense to the citizen.
The Interstate Compact Agreement for the supervision of parolees and probationers was established to provide for the orderly transfer of supervision of parolees and probationers between different state jurisdictions. All 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are members. The two primary goals of the compact are community protection and the rehabilitation of the client. Community protection involves regulation of travel, supervision of the offender, and returning of the offender to the sending state upon violation. The Interstate Compact for the supervision of adult offenders was enacted in Tennessee by the Legislature in 2002.
The Field Services Division collects fees from eligible probation/parole offenders according to TCA 40-28-201. The fees are set at a maximum of $45 per month based upon income level and hardship factors, according to the statute. The fees are separated into three funds: supervision, diversion, and Criminal Injuries Compensation.
The supervision and diversion funds are utilized to offset the cost of offender supervision and may be used for funding of personnel, training of agency staff, purchasing agency equipment and providing treatment for offenders.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund is operated under the auspices of the Department of Treasury - Claims Division. These monies are utilized to provide financial relief to crime victims or their next of kin for expenses incurred as a result of violent crime.
In addition to the above fees, applicable offenders may be responsible for additional fees such as DNA collection, GPS monitoring, Sex Offender Registration and Interstate Compact Transfer Applications, as well as the cost of reimbursing the Tennessee Department of Correction for drug testing.
The Tennessee Department of Correction has partnered with JPay to facilitate the offender fee deposit process.
Programmed Supervision Unit/GPS Monitoring
For more information on PSU and GPS, click here.
The Intensive Probation Program was established by policy in 1986 as an alternative to incarceration for non-violent offenders. Offenders are placed in highly structured programs where they are seen more often than offenders who are on regular probation. Supervision includes the following: random drug screens, electronic monitoring, curfew checks, home visits and monitoring any court ordered special conditions. Home visits occur at night and on weekends. Once the offender successfully completes the program, he/she is moved to regular probation programming for any remaining period of supervision. Probation offenders may also be moved into the program by judicial order from regular probation as an alternative to incarceration for a probation violation.