Adult Probation Department
In 1996, Licking County Municipal Court had a Probation Program that consisted of two Probation Officers independently appointed by each of the two Municipal Judges, and hence serving as the Probation Officer over the cases assigned by their respective Judge. One Secretary shared all secretarial duties for both Probation Officers.
The Municipal Court Judges with the endorsement of the City of Newark and Licking County recognized the need to consolidate the Probation Officers’ caseloads and responsibilities into one (1) Probation Department. The major benefits of this restructuring were:
- One department would handle all Municipal Court Probation cases;
- One department would allow more efficient administration;
- One department would allow for more effective operations;
Considering these needs and benefits, the Licking County Municipal Court Probation Department was established. The Probation Department will act as the matrix for the Municipal Court, relative to sentencing. It will be an integral part of the Community-Based Correction Program for the Court and with the Probation Department goals, the Court can be satisfied and the community can be served in the best fashion. The major goals of the Adult Probation Department are:
- The protection of the community
- The rehabilitation of the offender
OBJECTIVE OF UNITS
To establish the following units to be based on a total annual probation caseload of 2998 recorded from the 1995 Court Report:
- Office Administration and Support Staff - This unit consists of One (1) Director who will administer and supervise all departmental functions. Two (2) full-time Secretaries will be responsible for all secretarial duties.
- Clerical Probation Unit - Approximately 60% of the Probation Population will be Clerical in nature. These cases are those probationers that will comply with their conditions of probation with minimal court intervention. One (1) Probation Officers will supervise a caseload of probationers that will most likely be engaged in ongoing treatment programs where attendance is periodically monitored and noted in the probation file. One (1) Probation Officer will manage and supervise cases regarding:
- Operator License Privileges/Driving Under Suspension
- Work Off Fines
- Community Service
- General Probation Unit - These probationers will have all the Clerical Unit services and the more intensive intervention services such as:
- Case Planning and Management;
- Assessments, Inventories, Risk Indicator Survey, etc.;
- Pre-Sentence Investigations;
- Field Monitoring, and Physically Reporting to Probation Officer;
- Home visits, employment verification, agency verification, community service worksite verification, random drug screens, curfew compliance, electronic house arrests, etc.;
- Case Plan development, Prioritizing, Reprioritizing goals and objectives;
- Enforcement of Court Sanctions;
- Verbal reprimand, increased reporting, travel restrictions, increased home visits, increased drug testing, increased searches (home, auto, and person), more restrictive curfew, extended community service, extended home confinement, electronic monitoring, motion to revoke with likelihood of incarceration;
- Two (2) Probation Officers will provide the supervision of the probationers in this unit.
- Intensive Probation Unit - This unit will supervise probationers who are assessed and considered “AT-RISK.” These probationers can be identified as violent offenders, repeat OVI offenders, repeat theft offenders, offenders with multiple issues such as environmental factors, criminal behavior, substance abuse, or perhaps those offenders transitioning into the community from inpatient or long term incarceration. These probationers will be under Strict Probation because of their high probability to re-offend or just not comply with court orders unless Intensive Court Intervention is started. Intensive supervision, monitoring, and creative case management must be the priority with this at-risk population. Three (3) Probation Officers will supervise caseloads of approximately 75 probationers.
- Diversion Program - This unit will supervise nonviolent first-time offenders giving them an opportunity to accept responsibility for their actions and avoid traditional prosecution. This is accomplished by diverting them from the criminal justice system and allowing them to complete a probationary period of counseling, education, community service, treatment and/or participate in other rehabilitation programs offered to offenders. Successful completion of the program will result in the dismissal of the offender’s charges, thus allowing the offender to avoid the repercussions and stigma of a criminal conviction. Failure to successfully complete the program will result in the normal prosecution of the offender’s case. One (1) probation officer staffs this unit.
- Additional Programs - The Licking County Municipal Court Adult Probation Department has in-house GED classes offered by C-TEC staff, the classes are held at the probation department on Monday and Wednesday from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon. The Licking County Alcohol Prevention Program has a counselor come to the probation department every Wednesday from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm to provide counseling services such as intakes, individual counseling, and a aftercare group. Moundbuilders Guidance Center has a cognitive behavior group every Wednesday evening from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm, the group works on criminal thinking errors, anger management, and substance abuse issues. The Licking County Adult Probation Department also provides a community service program where defendants have the opportunity to complete court ordered community service hours and are able to work off their fines at a rate of $10.00 per hour. The program takes defendants out into the community and provide various services to the local government and non-profit organizations.
It is the mission of the Licking County Municipal Court Adult Probation Department to protect the public by providing information to the Court and by effectively supervising offenders in the community. GOAL STATEMENT The Licking County Municipal Court Adult Probation Department will:
- Provide information and recommendations to assist the Court in determining the appropriate disposition of cases;
- Enforce all sanctions ordered by the Courts;
- Protect the community through appropriate assessment, intervention, surveillance, and enforcement activities;
- Assist offenders to change through assessment of needs and appropriate interventions;
- Support crime victims by remaining sensitive to their concerns and by addressing their needs and interests throughout the processing, supervision and termination of a case;
- Establish effective partnerships with and/or assist other organizations, groups, and agencies to promote public safety, community corrections, and offender change;