Juvenile Probation Officer
104 Frio, Cotulla, TX 78014
PROBATION AND COMMUNITY INTERVENTION WORKS WITH YOUTH FROM THE TIME THEY ARE ARRESTED TO THE TIME THEY TRANSITION BACK INTO THE COMMUNITY. THE JUVENILE PROBATION OFFICERS PLAY A MAJOR ROLE THROUGHOUT THE JUVENILE JUSTICE PROCESS.
Every youth under the age of 18 charged with a crime in Cotulla is referred to the Department of Juvenile Justice. A referral is similar to an arrest in the adult criminal justice system. The Department provides a recommendation to the State Attorney and the Court regarding appropriate sanctions and services for the youth. When making a recommendation, the Department has several options that allow the youth to remain in his or her home community.
One option is diversion, which uses programs that are alternatives to the formal juvenile justice system for youth who have been charged with a minor crime. Diversion programs include Community Arbitration, Juvenile Alternative Services Program (JASP), Teen Court, Intensive Delinquency Diversion Services (IDDS), Civil Citation, Boy and Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs, mentoring programs, and alternative schools.
Each youth is assigned a Juvenile Probation Officer who monitors compliance and helps the youth connect with service providers. If the youth does not comply with Probation, is charged with a serious crime, or has a significant history of offenses, the youth may be ordered to live in a residential facility for a period of time.
Youth referred for diversion and or court supervision may have a variety of conditions or sanctions of supervision to follow:
- Restitution (payment) to the victim(s);
- No victim contact;
- Community service hours;
- Letter of apology to the victim(s);
- Forfeiture of driver's license;
- Avoid contact with co-defendants, friends, or acquaintances who are deemed to be inappropriate associations;
- Referrals to local social service agencies; and
- Substance abuse or mental health counseling
Conditional Release is designed to provide monitoring and services to those youth who are transitioning back to the community after being in a residential program. These youth have court-ordered sanctions and services that they must complete. Youth on Probation or Conditional Release may be ordered by the Court (or referred by the Department) to attend a Day Treatment program while they are being supervised. Day Treatment programs provide additional monitoring of youth and typically offer an alternative educational setting. They also provide additional services, such as anger management classes, social skills building, and substance abuse education.