Community Control

The services of any juvenile court can be quite complex and diverse, but the probation department is regarded as the cornerstone of these services. Probation, whereby a community control counselor actively supervises and monitors an offender’s adjustment in his/her home, school and community is still the most widely used court technique to address severe unruly and delinquent behavior. It is used after an official court order by the judge or magistrate is issued.

The primary objectives of probation are to:
  • protect the community
  • to hold the offender accountable for his/her behavior
  • to provide programming which addresses individual and family growth issues
The underlying assumption is that the individual can best be helped within the community, as opposed to placement in an institutional setting.

Benefits of Community Control

Probation is a privilege and not an individual right. It works best with individuals who are willing to participate and cooperate. Community control supervision enables the offender to remain in the community while assisting him / her in making the necessary behavioral and attitudinal changes to function within the law.

When an offender in this court is placed on probation, it is for an unspecified period of time; however, the average length of supervision is six to nine months. Probation discharge is initiated by a recommendation from the community control counselor, but becomes official only upon approval of the judge.

The rules of probation are the most important tools a community control counselor utilizes to maintain acceptable behavior and to effect change. These rules, which are mandated by an order of the court, are designed to establish behavioral guidelines.