What to Expect:
We understand being on probation can be stressful, especially if it is new to you. We also realize everyone makes mistakes and we are here to help you work through this difficult time. Each probation experience is unique and laws and regulations differ by state, county, and even charge. You can expect to be assigned to a probation officer who will help you through your court ordered requirements. If you need to complete more than just financial obligations, your officer will give you references to local providers.
Your first appointment will most likely be your longest and you will have to fill out some paperwork, confirm your personal information, and go over your requirements with your officer. If you have any questions about your requirements, the first appointment is the place to start asking! We want to make sure you are completely and constantly aware of what you need to do to complete your supervision successfully. JCS Probation Officers are incentivized by getting you through this successfully, not by violations. They are trained in tolerance and equal opportunity. Nobody will be “out to get you” and many probationers eventually end up appreciating their contact with the probation officers.!
While your probation officer will be happy to help you help yourself you still hold the ultimate responsibility for your success or failure. Read the “Do’s and Don’ts” of reporting below to make sure your experience goes as smoothly as possible.
Do’s of Reporting
- Be honest with your officer and the court
- Remember your appointments!
- Plan to show up 5 – 15 minutes early
- Document everything that could be related to your probation – we suggest you keep a record of completed requirements, receipts, prescriptions, excuses, etc.
- Report early or call your officer at least 24 hours before an appointment if you know you will need to reschedule. Otherwise your officer is obligated to count you as a “no show” if you fail to report.
- Ask questions if you are unsure of ANYTHING
- Discuss any concerns or needs related to your probation with your officer
- Be aware of your requirements and when they are due
- Pay with cash or money order (unless you were told otherwise during your intake appointment)
- Expect you could be drug tested
Don’ts of Reporting
- Lie to your probation officer or the court
- Forget to update your contact information with your officer as soon as it changes
- Fall out of contact with your probation officer
- Report without shoes or a shirt
- Cover your face with sunglasses, hoods, or hats
- Become confrontational – problems are much easier to solve with your officer if you both remain calm
- Seek legal advice from your probation officer – it is not legal for them to provide it. Please check with a public defender, law library, or retain private council for legal matters.
- Expect to be able get everything done in the last few weeks, we have seen such attempts fail over and over again
- Be too shy or nervous – your officer is here to help you