Circuit Probation

Here you will find information about the mission of the Juvenile Probation Department, its objectives, its organization and how the Department operates.

Mission
The mission of the Posey Circuit Court Juvenile Probation Department is to accept people below the age of 18, who have been referred to the Department, and to work with them, their relatives and custodians, their schools, their churches, law enforcement agencies, social service agencies, mental health agencies, the Court, and correction agencies within the resource constraints of the Department to assess their behavior and their needs to prepare and execute plans for establishing conditions and behavior which will protect the public and their families and will assist them in becoming healthy, happy, and productive members of our community.

Objectives
1. Recognize and handle emergency needs quickly;
2. Determine needs of the child, caregivers, and the environment;
3. Match the child’s situation with services to meet the needs;
4. Treat the child in the environment;
5. Build support in the environment;
6. Evaluate treatment effectiveness;
7. Evaluate treatment plan efficiency;
8. Terminate Department involvement on a timely basis.

Organization
Rodney Fetcher is Chief Probation Officer of both juvenile and adult probation departments. Mark and Michelle specialize in juvenile probation activities, but also have adult probation duties. Sam also is available for juvenile probation support.

Juvenile Probation Procedure

Complaint Lodged with the Posey County Prosecutor
Law enforcement officers, school officials, or private individuals file complaints against juveniles with the Posey County Prosecutor.

Complaint Referred from Posey County Prosecutor to Posey Circuit Court Probation Department
In juvenile matters, the Prosecutor often refers complaints to the Probation Department for further inquiry. Referred complaints then are called referrals.

Juvenile Probation Department Inquires into the Referral
The Juvenile Probation Department types referral information into the Juvenile Probation computer system where a tentative appointment is scheduled and letters are written to custodians inviting them to appear with the child for an informal hearing with a probation officer. The informal hearing is called a Preliminary Inquiry. The hearing is called “informal” because the hearing does not take place before a judge and statements are not sworn.

Subsequently, the child, a custodian, and sometimes other interested relatives meet with a probation officer for the Preliminary Inquiry. Before any questions are asked, the probation officer will read the child’s rights and ask that the child sign that the rights were read. Next, the probation officer will ask for the child to sign a document which permits other agencies to release information to the Probation Department and vice versa.

Following the signing of the rights and release forms, the probation officer will ask questions which help in understanding the child and the environment. The probation officer will ask questions about the referral.

The probation officer may verify some of the information received in the Preliminary Inquiry and then produce a Preliminary Inquiry Report which includes a recommended course of action. Possible recommended courses of action include: (1) Dismiss the charge; (2) Refer to another agency; (3) Informal adjust the matter; or (4) File a formal charge.

The Posey County Prosecutor Responds to the Preliminary Inquiry
The Prosecutor responds to the Preliminary Inquiry Report recommendation by returning a Notice of Action to the Probation Department. For Informal Adjustments, the juvenile agrees to terms of probation which the Probation Department supervises. When formal charges are filed, the Court will decide whether to adjudicate the juvenile. If the juvenile is adjudicated, the Probation Department will file a Predisposition Report to assist the judge in determining the disposition of the case.

The Juvenile Probation Department Helps Carry Out the Orders of the Court
The Probation Department assists in carrying out the orders of the Court by coordinating travel and arrangements at placement facilities such as Boys School or Girls School. The Probation Department also supervises juveniles during any period of probation decided by the Court.