The probation officer will work with you to develop a plan with the objective of assuring your success in developing your personal needs while fulfilling the mandate of the sentence and maintaining a lawful lifestyle. You will be encouraged to make use of this opportunity to ensure success beyond the time you are under supervision.
If you are required to perform community service as a condition of your supervision the Court will direct a specific number of hours you must spend doing so. Benefit to the community is expected. You will be referred to appropriate community service work sites which promote purposeful, realistic, appropriate, reliable service designed to benefit the community. You can expect the probation officer to attend to your interests, wishes and welfare, but you should realize he/she is mandated by policy to consider whether a placement would be viewed as potentially inappropriate in the eyes of the community; to disclose the offender’s criminal history to the potential placement agency; to verify that the site provides non-denominational services to the community; and to insure that the site has a manager who will cooperate with the probation office.
Performance of community service is a rewarding experience, and one that provides a tremendous benefit to the community. Our probationers have provided numerous hours of work for non-profit and tax-supported agencies through their community service requirements. In some examples, food has been distributed through the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, animals cared for at the Greater Baton Rouge Zoo, and highways cleaned through litter detail. However, you will not be allowed to perform community service in the name of your employer who, in turn, pays you for the service given, nor can you substitute service you are already providing to an organization or church.
Should you be directed by the court to perform a certain amount of community service it is very important that you discuss the purpose, possibilities and requirements thoroughly with your probation officer at the initial interview and later as the service begins and progresses.
Occasionally a probationer is required by a judge to be confined to the home rather than serve time in a jail or prison. This may range from a nighttime curfew to a 24-7 hour home incarceration. If you are restricted to your home while on any part of your supervision you may be required to wear a non-removable bracelet and permit monitoring equipment to be installed on a phone line at a permanent, approved residence. The participant will be responsible for paying for and maintaining adequate telephone and electrical service at the residence. Unless specified by the Court the participant must also pay for the cost of the electronic monitoring.
Should you be sentenced to probation supervision with a condition requiring home confinement it is important that you discuss the requirements carefully with the probation officer. Violation of the restriction can, and often does, result in jail or prison incarceration. The officer will be concerned with your personal and family needs.
Specifically you should make certain you understand if, how, when and to whom payments are to be made for the cost of electronic monitoring. Be very clear what allowance will be made for you to leave the home, e.g. medical appointments, essential shopping, religious observance, employment, training or any other activity that may be specific to your own needs. Understand your probation officer is required to, and will, check on your stated need to leave the home. Ask about your ability to earn limited leave for recreational or leisure time. Even more important, ask for a clear understanding of how to notify the probation officer in the event of an emergency requiring that you leave the home at a time not already approved in your schedule.
It is possible that upon receiving a sentence to probation supervision you find that you do not have a stable place to live. If this is the case for you it is important that you discuss the problem with your probation officer. The officer will help you avoid the necessity of returning to a housing condition that contributed to your problem in the first place. Several community services provide temporary housing while you work with your officer to obtain permanent quarters.
The objective of the transitional housing programs and shelters is to teach probationers to empower themselves so they can benefit their communities. The residential managers and staff work with probationers on an individual basis to help them develop skills for self- reliance.
The following is a list of Temporary Shelters and Transitional Housing:
Bishop Ott Shelter of St. Vincent DePaul
Queen of Peace Night Shelter of Charity
The Salvation Army Emergency Shelter
Joseph Homes-Catholic Community Services
Liberty Rescue Mission
Myriam’s House, Incorporated
Salvation Army – Transient Housing Program
Shiloh Transitional Housing – VOA
Urban Meadows Apt. – Homeless Program
Your supervising officer has contact information for each of these and will facilitate your communication with them. If you wish to take advantage of some other shelter or housing arrangement it will be necessary for the probation officer to verify its appropriateness.
Some persons placed on probation supervision require close supervision that may be more intrusive than that given to other persons being supervised. Examples could be: persons with a history of criminal activity or assault behavior, sex offenders, persons who have failed past supervision periods, persons currently not complying with the conditions of their supervision.
If you should fall into this category it would be productive to realize intensive supervision is not meted out as an additional punishment but rather to provide more opportunity for guidance, counseling and planning to overcome the issues that require the category and avoid further problems. Take every opportunity to establish good rapport with your officer and take advantage of assistance given. If your stability improves sufficiently you will be transferred to a general supervision caseload with less intrusive attention.
The U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Office attends to mental health treatment when it is required by a condition of probation through a contract with a counseling service in the community.
Our office also has an agreement with a professional psychological service for the treatment of sex offenders. The services provided by this agency include: 1) Sex Offender Psychological and/or Psychiatric Work-up, Evaluation, and Report, and 2) Sex Offender Individual or Group Counseling.
When necessary the court will place a condition of probation requiring outpatient treatment for drug addiction. During your initial interview it is important that you cooperate with the officer to screen the case carefully and develop an appropriate treatment program. The officer will have frequent contact with the treatment agency during your treatment to make sure you are benefiting from the program. It is to your advantage to participate fully and to ask for help when you need it.