Division of Probation Services
Probation officers provide many services to circuit courts, such as conducting investigations and drug screenings, preparing pre-sentence reports, recommending sentences for criminal offenders, and monitoring offenders sentenced to probation or supervised release. Officers also work closely with community agencies such as day report centers, schools, substance abuse facilities, local community health centers, community service work providers, the Department of Health and Human Resources, and other state agencies in order to link services for persons under probation officers’ supervision. In addition, more than three hundred probation officers and probation staff employees annually supervise more than 14,000 adult and juvenile offenders.
The Division of Probation Services is responsible for the development and oversight of juvenile drug courts in West Virginia. The West Virginia Juvenile Drug Court Program is a cooperative effort of the juvenile justice, social service, law enforcement, and education systems in the state. This program seeks to divert non-violent juvenile offenders exhibiting alcohol or substance abuse behavior from the traditional juvenile court process to an intensive, individualized treatment process. The goal of the program is to reduce future court involvement for these youth. As of July 1, 2010, there were four juvenile drug courts located in Cabell, Wayne, Logan, and Mercer Counties. Six new programs were implemented in the fall of 2010 and winter of 2011 in Boone/Lincoln, Brooke/Hancock, Monongalia, Putnam, Randolph, and Wood Counties.
The office of the West Virginia Interstate Compact for Juveniles also resides within the Division of Probation Services. The Compact regulates the movement and supervision between states of juveniles under community supervision. It is designed to ensure public safety and create an effective and efficient means of transferring, tracking, and supervising juveniles between states. Juvenile probation officers provide supervision of juveniles transferred to West Virginia through the Interstate Compact. The Probation Division’s Compact Office manages more than one hundred active cases each year as well as handling the return of juvenile runaways, absconders, and escapees. For more information regarding the Interstate Commission for Juveniles, please visit its website at www.juvenilecompact.org.
The Division of Probation services is responsible for implementing and overseeing the six Sex Offender Intensive Supervision (SOISO) Regions in the state and their thirty-five specialized, multi-circuit, intensive supervision officers. These officers work closely with treatment providers and polygraphers to enhance public safety.The program is operating statewide with thirty-five officers who have received special training in supervision of sex offenders.
The Probation Division is a growing division with more than three hundred probation officers and support staff with broad responsibilities and duties.