In FY 2008, the probation population was 148,629 probationers under supervision. The most common crime type was drug related offenses (that includes possession, sale, distribution, manufacture and trafficking, with 54,250 cases. Property crimes were a close second totally 51,378 offenses.
Probationers under state supervision are assessed to determine their level of risk for re-offending. They are supervised according to results of the assessment. This process allows more time and effort to be devoted to those offenders who pose the most risk to the community.
As a condition of their probation, offenders must agree to allow probation officers to visit them in their homes and workplaces. Officers may also require probationers to come to the probation office to report. Depending on the specific conditions in the court order, probationers may be required to submit to alcohol or drug testing. The average Standard/Administrative caseload in Georgia is 250 probationers per officer. This ratio is significantly higher than the national average caseload size.
Part of effective probation field supervision is ensuring that offenders have the opportunity to rehabilitate themselves. Rehabilitation is a long-term strategy of enhancing public safety by preventing future crimes. Because the offenders must eventually function on their own in the community, there is an emphasis on helping them find appropriate treatment services in the local area.
Recent legislation requires all probationers to submit to evaluations and testing relating to rehabilitation and participate in and successfully complete rehabilitative programming as directed by the department. This requirement gives probation officers another tool for changing probationers' behavior.
To address the special needs of substance abusers, Probation operates several units which provide intense programming for both addiction and life skills issues.
Intensive Probation Supervision (IPS) may be used as a direct sentencing option or may be used as a sanction as a result of a revocation or sentence modification hearing. IPS is available in all of the circuits. more
Specialized Probation Supervision (SPS) is a statewide program specifically for offenders who commit sexual crimes. Each circuit has at least one officer specially trained to supervise an SPS caseload. more
As part of the offender's "symbolic restitution" to the community, the probation sentence may include a requirement that the offender perform a specified number of hours of unpaid labor for local government or nonprofit agencies. more
Along with monitoring the activities of the probationers, probation officers have a responsibility to collect court-ordered fees, fines, and restitution from them. In accordance with OCGA 42-8-34, probation officers collect $23 or $29 in fees from each actively supervised probationer each month. more
During FY03, there were 46,216 releases from probation. The majority of these, more than 25,640, were released having fulfilled the court orders of probation. Some, about 17,000, were unable to meet their obligations without the added structure of a residential center. more...