Probation Officer Law and Legal Definition

Probation officer is the designation given to the officers of a court’s probation office. A probation officer spend most of their time working for the courts by conducting pre-sentence investigation, preparing pre-sentence report about convicted defendants, review sentencing recommendations with offenders and their families before submitting them to the court, update the court on offenders' efforts at rehabilitation and compliance with the terms of their sentences and recommend sentences. They supervise released offenders and people who have been placed on probation through personal contact with the offenders and their families. They also give testification in court about their findings and recommendations. They are different from parole officers who supervise offenders who have been released from prison. They work with either adults or juveniles exclusively, who are sentenced to probation instead of prison.

Probation officers are also called as community supervision officers in some states. They work for 40-hour a week or for a longer period. They may be on call 24 hours a day to supervise and assist offenders at any time.