Individuals in Indiana convicted of a crime, particularly felonies, could fall under the probation system. This could involve various jurisdictions and will result in a probation officer keeping tabs on a person for some time as defined by the courts.
This complex process includes both mandatory and discretionary guidelines.
The federal system
According to the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services for the Northern District of Indiana, the federal probation system enables a person to receive a less severe punishment for a crime than incarceration. Probation allows a person to reintegrate into a community while undergoing punitive measures.
The process often begins with a probation officer interviewing a convicted person and evaluating his or her risk profile. The courts have the leeway at times to order discretionary provisions such as home detention, substance abuse testing and psychological treatments.
If serious enough, a probation violation could lead to additional jail time for the individual. At times, the courts can reduce the length of a probation sentence if conditions warrant this step.
The state system
Indiana also administers a probation program and adopts its own standards. As with the federal program, the state system calls for regular interactions between the probation officer and the supervised individual. Meeting frequency varies, but it must meet the minimum contact standards adopted by state agencies.
Probation officers have many responsibilities and must follow a strict code of conduct. They must notify the courts of any violations. The consequences of a violation will often depend upon the probationer’s risk to public safety. The courts can approve early termination of probation in favorable cases.