Probations General Services
Probation Supervision is the most widely used alternative to incarceration sentencing option in the court system with the purpose of holding a probationer accountable, while simultaneously referring them to services to help effect positive behavioral changes and influence law-abiding behavior. Probationers can work toward this outcome all while continuing to function within the community by avoiding a jail or prison term. Probation supervision is used as a sentence in both the Criminal Courts as well as Family Courts in New York State. Probation supervision provides oversight and allows referrals to treatment programs and services in the community to help effect the desired behavioral changes outlined through court orders. Probation assists people who may suffer from substance abuse, require mental health services and therapy programs, those who made poor choices and may have committed a criminal offense, and overall, those who need assistance moving in a better direction for themselves while ensuring the safety of the community. Although Probation works to help people connect with programs and services to be able to help themselves and improve their behavior, and they are offered many chances to do so under supervision, sometimes they are not entirely successful. Although probation has one of the highest success rates in reducing criminal recidivism, if a probationer continues with poor choices and criminal behavior, and positive law-abiding progress is not achieved or maintained, probation can take legal action within the original sentencing court in the form of a probation violation. If a probationer is found in violation of their probation supervision requirements, the sentencing court can then go back to the original sentencing options and apply other sanctions or even incarceration to try and influence the desired behavioral changes in pursuit of public safety. Ultimately, Probations goal is to effect positive behavioral changes and to influence law abiding behavior to help enforce better lifestyle decisions for probationers and to ensure community safety in the long term.
The daily administrative operation of probation departments is controlled by local government through each county. However, all departments receive directives for their operations through rules and regulations promulgated by the Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives within New York State. Most of the funding for probation services is received primarily through the county, but there is a small portion of state reimbursement for some probation services such as Community Services, Pre-Trial Release, and general probation services related state aid.
A sentence of probation supervision allows an individual to remain as a functioning member of society without the restrictions, limitations, and costs of incarceration. For a majority of first time and low-level offenders, a sentence of probation supervision is all that is needed to prompt law-abiding behavior without the burden of incarceration to society and the defendant. The Schuyler County Probation Department makes many referrals to services throughout the community, and we provide the oversight needed that can assist people engaging in those services that they may not have had otherwise. Not only does probation try to influence positive behavioral change and individual growth, but the department also saves our county government and local communities money by helping keep people out of incarceration and working as productive members of society. Major services provided by Schuyler County Probation are outlined below.