WHAT IS PROBATION?
Probation is an alternative to incarceration that permits offenders to live and work in the community, support their families, receive rehabilitative services and make restitution to the victims of their crimes. It also addresses juvenile crime with early intervention for youth at risk.
The single most used criminal punishment in the U.S. today, probation is a judicial function governed by the courts that sentence defendants.
When carefully administered and applied only to those who can safely be monitored in the community, it can provide rehabilitation and reintegration of the offender into society, ultimately helping to reduce crime. Since 1908, the Suffolk County Department of Probation has maintained a high standard of public safety by providing solutions to crime, delinquency, and families in crisis. Each year thousands of residents come to probation seeking our assistance in preparing court petitions involving family offenses, custody and visitation, support and persons in need of supervision (PINS). The department of probation provides public safety through treatment, planning and prevention. Suffolk County probation officers are peace officers with dual responsibilities of public safety and rehabilitation. Their ultimate goal is to stop the cycle of crime and prevent offenders from becoming serious and violent criminals.
WHY DO WE NEED PROBATION?
The unprecedented growth in the nation's prison population has placed a heavy economic burden on taxpayers in terms of the cost to build, maintain, and operate prisons.
According to the United States Justice Department, over 2 million Americans are behind bars. This represents nearly six times as many inmates as we had in 1970.
Society must incarcerate those serious and violent offenders who endanger the community. For many nonviolent offenders , however, probation is a cost effective alternative that holds them accountable for their crimes.
PROBATION IS A COST EFFECTIVE SANCTION
Probation offers maximum benefit to the public which it serves. The cost of probation supervision in Suffolk is approximately $4.00 per day, as compared to $125.00 per day to house a prisoner in our local jail. Probation is one of the only areas in the criminal justice system that generates substantial reimbursement for programs that protect the community.
Click here to view the Mission Statement of the Suffolk County Probation Department.