U.S. Probation Officers are community corrections professionals who serve as officers of the court and as agents of the U.S. Parole Commission. They are responsible for the supervision of persons conditionally released to the community by the Courts, the Parole Commission, and military authorities. U.S. Probation Officers supervise persons under supervision who are sentenced to a term of probation by the Court, or who are on supervised release or parole after they are released from the Bureau of Prisons or the military. Utilizing a variety of evidence based practices, services, and treatment options, U.S. Probation Officers monitor persons under supervision compliance with the conditions of supervision and work with persons under supervision to facilitate their reintegration into the community as law-abiding and productive members of society. The desired outcomes of supervision are the enforcement of the sentence and the protection of the community by reducing the risk and recurrence of crime and maximizing persons under supervision success during the period of supervision and beyond. The goal in all cases is the successful completion of the term of supervision, during which the person under supervision commits no new crimes; is held accountable for victim, family, community and other court-imposed responsibilities; and prepares for continued success through improvements in his or her conduct and condition.
Supervision is a dynamic process throughout which officers are to keep informed and, consistent with the conditions of release and individual circumstances, intervene with strategies designed to manage risk and provide persrons under supervision with the tools and social services they may require to succeed. It is through such intervention in higher risk cases that officers further the goal of public safety during the period of supervision and beyond.
Officers carry out these responsibilities by assessing the risks, needs and strengths of each person under supervision to determine the appropriate level of supervision; and then utilizing skills from various disciplines to simultaneously monitor and, as necessary, control and correct behavior. These include the investigation skills of law enforcement, but to the primary purpose of planning for success rather than documenting failure. They include the treatment and service delivery skills of social workers, but with a primary focus on improving circumstances that are linked to criminal behavior (e.g., substance abuse; mental health; employment; education; family/community support).