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A pre-sentence investigation is a background check and social history compiled by the Probation Department prior to sentencing, and provided to the Judge, Prosecutor, and your Attorney. Pre-sentence investigations are ordered in nearly all felony cases, and in some misdemeanor cases if requested. The information from the pre-sentence investigation is used by the Court to assist in determining an appropriate decision in your case. Pre-Sentence investigations are considered confidential information, and are not released to the public.
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A sentence of Probation, affords you an opportunity to remain in the community with specific conditions instead of being sentenced to jail or the Department of Correction. Being on probation allows you to work and be with your family and friends. A probation officer will be assigned to assist and monitor you during your time on probation.
Probation is also an opportunity for you to make positive changes in your life. Your conditions of probation are designed to help you address problems that are known to contribute to criminal behavior. Your probation officer can be very helpful by referring you to resources, answering questions, and guiding you in meeting the conditions of your probation. If you comply with the Court’s orders and the probation officer’s instructions you will complete your probation successfully. However, if you violate the conditions or fail to follow your probation officer’s instructions, your probation will/may be violated and a judge may sentence you to jail.
Indiana Risk Assessment System (IRAS) for adults and the Indiana Youth Assessment System (IYAS) for juveniles determine a probationer’s risk of committing a new crime and helps the probation officer know what thinking and behaviors need to change to prevent the probationer from returning to the justice system. These assessments help you and your probation officer in planning and interventions.
The frequency and nature of contacts will depend on a variety of factors, mainly related to your RISK ASSESSMENT. Your probation officer will inform you of the day and time, and you are required to report. If you have an emergency or illness that prevents you from reporting as directed, call and speak to your probation officer or their supervisor and get a new appointment. Your probation officer may also visit you at your home or place of employment. These field visits must be conducted as part of the supervision process and it is not their intent to embarrass you or create problems for you or your family. If you have any specific concerns about field visits, you should share them with your probation officer beforehand.
You must provide verification of: employment (a pay stub), residence (a lease, copy of a utility bill, etc.), community service hours, counseling or program attendance, all drug prescriptions, documentation of any medical conditions, immigration registration, and any other documents requested by your probation officer. For safety reasons, children are not allowed in probation appointments, they are also not allowed to sit in the hallway unattended. PLEASE MAKE OTHER arrangements.
Releases of information are required so that the probation officer can verify your attendance and completion of any court ordered treatment program(s). It also allows your treatment providers to speak with your PO so they can assist each other in your treatment, recovery or physical ailments. Additional releases (DCS, CASA) may be required depending on your individual circumstance.
You may be placed on a term of Administrative Probation supervision. Administrative Probation is a non-reporting status of Probation. You have a probation officer assigned to monitor compliance with any court orders and you must contact the probation officer to report any change in employment, or residence, and to request permission to travel out of state. You may be permitted to mail in verification of community service hours, verification of any required program(s), and payments of restitution and fees. If you are notified to report in person, you are expected to follow the instructions to report. If you fail to follow any of your conditions then additional supervision will be required and may include your case being returned to court for a violation hearing.
Generally, all court ordered fees and restitution payments are made at the Clerk’s Office of the sentencing court. You may pay online by visiting the Jefferson County Payment Center or in person at the court house. Payment must be made with credit card, cash, certified bank check or money order. You will be provided with a receipt for each payment you make. Please save your receipts. All other fees for your community supervision will be paid at the Court Services Office where you meet with your PO. Please speak with your probation officer for more information.
If you do not follow the conditions of your probation, your probation officer is required by the court to take action. This action may include requesting a warrant for your arrest, the judge requiring you to return to court to add more conditions to your probation, or your probation could be revoked. If your probation is revoked, the judge may sentence you to the Indiana Department of Correction or local jail. Remember, your probation officer has been assigned to help you follow the conditions of your probation. He/she is available to assist you with any problems and refer you to community resources for aid in dealing with your problems. A probation officer is also responsible to the court and helps protect the community. The probation officer cannot excuse you from any of your conditions (such as reporting, making payments, completing community service, drug testing, etc.) Your Probation Officer is here to help you fulfill your conditions and to see that you are not involved in the Justice System again.
The obligation to pay fees and/or restitution is not to be taken lightly. Failure to pay, especially if you knowingly or intentionally fail to pay, is a violation of your probation conditions and could result in the court finding you in violation.
If you have been adjudicated or convicted of an offense that is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, you have a duty to provide a DNA sample through the Indiana State Police Crime Laboratory. Refusal to provide the required sample is a violation of your probation in addition to being a separate criminal offense. When you report for your initial appointment to be admitted to probation your intake officer will conduct a mouth swab and submit it to the Indiana State Police Crime Laboratory.
Yes, provided you have received permission from your probation officer and state/local policy allows it. You must first report to Court Services and meet with your probation officer. Your probation officer will explain the process and what is required for the transfer of your probation supervision to the new state. The Interstate Commission for Adult Supervision (ICAOS) can be found on the web (www.adultcompact.org). There is a similar system for transfer of juvenile probation. For detailed information click on the section, “How can I transfer my supervision?”
Permission may be granted provided you are in compliance with the court imposed conditions of your probation, have received permission from your probation officer and a travel permit has been issued. Such travel requires a waiver of extradition, and may be subject to other restrictions, appropriate to your case.
If the probationer is eighteen years or older, probation officers cannot discuss the status of a probationer with family members, friends or spouse.
Probation officers cannot release any information to the neighbor, even whether or not a person is currently on probation.
All clients are subject to urine drug screens while under the supervision of the Probation Department. Every day of your supervision you will call an automated drug screen line that will inform you if you need to report to Court Services to provide a drug screen urine sample. It is expected that all clients will be randomly screened on a regular basis. The Probation Department conducts urine drug screens in accordance with industry standards and follows a very strict chain of custody. A Probation Department employee observes all screens. The urine specimens may be tested by a certified laboratory, and the probationer is expected to pay for a portion of the costs of the testing. Specimens are screened for the presence of alcohol and various drugs.
Failure to call the drug screen line, submit to the testing or a positive test result can result in a violation of probation. Drug tests cost $5.00 for an instant test and $25 if the test needs to be confirmed by the certified laboratory. These prices are subject to change. Please consult your probation officer for the most current costs.
If you are arrested, charged with any offense, or have any police contact, contact your probation officer immediately. If you are unable to speak directly with your probation officer, ask for a supervisor.