Terms of Probation
Possible Terms of Probation
This list of the Possible Terms of Probation is a means of explaining the various components that could be contained in a dispositional order. This information is not a substitute for court orders or policies, but merely a guide to help further assist you through potential consequences. It should also be noted that each dispositional order or consent contract is individualized and may differ from previous probationary terms.
The court can and does place juveniles out of the home. Such placements could be in foster care, non-secure detention homes, secure detention, and residential treatment facilities. When any out of home placement occurs, the Court gives the out of home placement the authority to obtain medical treatment including emergency medical treatment as needed. The reason for placement is to ultimately help the juvenile to decrease or eliminate problematic behaviors which brought him/her before the Court originally. Each type of out-of-home placement has different treatment modalities, and placement into any of these programs would depend upon the individual’s needs.
If the court places the juvenile anywhere beside a relative’s home, there is likely to be some cost to the court which will then be passed on to the parent(s) or guardian(s). The court pays the original bill, and then seeks reimbursement for the costs from the parent(s) or guardian(s) according to the family’s ability to repay.
Electronic monitoring is a way to place the juvenile back into his/her home with monitoring of a tether. The juvenile must sign an Electronic Monitoring Contract and abide by the terms and conditions of the contract.
Substance abuse case management will include drug screening and/or urinary analysis. These tests are a requirement of every juvenile on probation. A test may be randomly, or weekly, or as often as deemed necessary by the probation officer. A juvenile committing a non alcohol or non drug related offense is not exempt from being tested. Certain drugs stay in the system longer than others do. Therefore, early detection is essential. When or if a parent or a guardian is concerned or believes that his/her child may be using drugs or alcohol, please notify the probation officer. The juvenile shall submit to and cooperate with any/all tests at the request of the probation officer. Failure to submit a sample, tampering, or otherwise interfering with the accuracy of any test shall be a violation of probation.
A Juvenile is to follow a curfew as set by his/her parent(s) or guardian(s), but the curfew shall be no later than the court ordered curfew which is determined by the caseworker. Curfew is defined as the hour in which the juvenile is required to be in their home or immediate yard. It is the parent(s) or guardian(s)’s obligation to report any vagrant violation of the juvenile’s curfew. Failure to do so could result in action taken against the parent, if necessary.
All juveniles on probation are required to attend school when it is officially in session. The court does not dictate which school the juvenile is to attend unless there is some necessity to do so. The rules of the school become an enforceable part of the juvenile’s probation. In other words, a violation of a rule, as defined by the school's student handbook, could potentially be a probation violation as well.
Obey All State, Federal, And Local Laws
While on probation, the juvenile is ordered to abide by all state, federal and local laws. Although this seems obvious, it is ordered for a couple reasons. First, there may be some differences in local laws as defined from county to county. Secondly, if a juvenile breaks the law in some form, they can have their probation violated. The court order further states that the juvenile shall not use or possess any alcoholic beverage (must be 21), illegal drugs or tobacco (must be 18), nor be in the presence of anyone who is illegally using or possessing alcohol or drugs. A person not on probation would not be in violation of any law to merely be in the presence of a minor violating the laws pertaining to alcohol or drugs. A juvenile on probation would be in violation of their probation even if they did not participate in the act of drinking, smoking, or using the drug. While it is possible that a juvenile may be in a car or in some other situation where a minor produces alcohol or drugs, it is imperative that the juvenile remove himself/herself from the situation somehow as soon as possible.
No Contact or Association Provision
If juvenile has committed an offense with another juvenile or victimizes another human being, the court order frequently requires that the juvenile have no contact or association with the other juvenile(s) or with the victim. This is like a restraining order in the adult court system. No contact or association is defined as no telephone calls, no e-mails, no sitting next to each other at school or on the bus, or any social interaction whatsoever.
Juveniles are court ordered to pay restitution when the juvenile has created some type of damage or taken something, which cannot be restored, to its rightful owner. The Court does its best to determine a fair amount of restitution, but the offender, by the very act of his/her offense, is at the mercy of the Court. The Court will see to it that the victim of the offense is satisfied.
The last ordered term regarding costs is reimbursement. Whenever the Court pays for services given to the juvenile or their parents, the Court must seek reimbursement for these costs. Some of the services which may require reimbursement include counseling, evaluations, drug screening, classes, attorney fees, out of home placement, and other services contracted through the court. Parents are requested to complete a financial affidavit to help the court financial officer determine a reasonable reimbursement that would not cause undue hardship on the family. If parents do not complete the necessary financial information requested, then the court will determine an arbitrary amount indiscriminately.
Juveniles may be required to write essays. Essays are brief literary compositions expressing their beliefs or opinions about a subject. The specific topic of the essays is determined by the caseworker as well as the required length. Though the length (the number of words) is usually counted, the content of the essay is most important.
Juveniles who have committed an offense are expected to apologize for their actions. This apology needs to be in writing and is most often hand delivered. The apology letter is to be delivered to his/her probation officer. The probation officer reviews the letter for the following content: that the juvenile appears to be sincere, that they have accepted full responsibility for their offense, that it is legible, and that they have given the victim some type of assurance that this offense will not happen again. When the letter is approved, it will be returned to the juvenile who must make arrangements with the victim to deliver the letter in person.
Community Service Work
Community service work is a way in which juveniles can give something back to the community in which they offended. Every time an offense is committed, it deteriorates the fabric of society. Community Service Work is a way to rebuild it or "do something good" for each bad action or mistake. Community service work is defined as work completed for the community, not for an immediate relative, and/or not for profit.
Counseling and/or Assessments
The Judge may order the juvenile and/or his/her parents to participate in counseling and/or an assessment. Most often, the counseling begins with some type of assessment or evaluation. The recommendations from the assessment or evaluation with help determine how or what type of counseling is needed. Counseling may involve just the juvenile, but in many cases, it involves the parent(s) or guardian(s) to whatever extent the counselor feels is necessary. The goals of counseling are determined within the sessions by the participants. The length of time that the counseling lasts is a decision primarily left up to the counselor but is usually based on an objective look at the progress toward the goals.
Along a similar note, the Judge may order a psychological or psychiatric evaluation. These are more in depth appraisals of the individual’s functioning that often include a variety of tests. Tests may include physicals, neurological, written questionnaires, I.Q. tests, and interviews. The findings of the psychiatrist or psychologist are written into a report along with recommendations, and then forwarded to the court. The recommendations may include a variety of suggestions that include medications, outpatient counseling, or, in some cases, inpatient treatment. The Judge may order that the juvenile cooperate with whatever recommendations deemed necessary.
Project 19 is a program for In Home Care probationers (formal or informal) designed to provide social skill building, substance abuse education/treatment, recreation, and life skill development after school hours, Monday through Thursday, 3 pm to 8 pm. In the summer months the program runs Monday through Thursday, 9 am to 2 pm. This program is intense in nature and provides many of the needed services our at risk youth require. Project 19 is currently postponed due to COVID-19.