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Probation Division - FAQ

New Jersey Probation Services is committed to the welfare and safety of children, families, and communities through the fair treatment of all individuals by:

  • Promoting positive change in behavior through the use of evidence-based practices.
  • Ensuring that individuals remain accountable to their families and communities.
  • Working with the community and staff while responding pro-actively to change.

Drug Court name changed to Recovery Court in January 2022.

    • Q. Comprehensive Enforcement Program

      The Comprehensive Enforcement Program (CEP) assists courts with the compliance of court orders that impose hours of community service, fees, fines, and other financial assessments.

      The program holds clients accountable for paying fines, fees and completing community service; ensures that efforts to address failure to pay is fair and just; and applies techniques that individualize clients’ needs. The program provides information and assistance to clients so they understand their obligations and the collections process.

    • Q. Juvenile Supervision

      The goal of juvenile probation is to protect the safety of the community while offering youth clients the opportunities and support they need to change their behavior. Similar to adult supervision, success in the program is measured by clients avoiding criminal behavior.

    • Q. Interstate Compact Unit

      The Interstate Compact Unit administers and oversees the participation and compliance of the Judiciary in the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision (ICAOS) and the Interstate Compact for Juveniles (ICJ), which governs the transfer of adult and juvenile clients from one state to another. Members of ICJ includes all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands

    • Q. Recovery Court Supervision

      Recovery court probation officers work with treatment providers, family members, defense attorneys, prosecutors, schools, employers and social service agencies to support a participant’s recovery efforts. They coordinate, refer, monitor and help manage a participant’s daily activities and help the participant change their life for the better.

    • Q. Ombudsman Unit

      The probation ombudsman provides information and assistance to probation clients and the public. The unit also investigates and resolves complaints and conducts workshops and community outreach to educate the public about probation. The ombudsman cannot represent clients or court users or provide legal advice.

    • Q. Intensive Supervision Program

      The Intensive Supervision Program (ISP) allows nonviolent inmates to serve the rest of their prison term in the community under strict probation supervision. ISP requires participants to report frequently to supervising officers, submit to frequent drug testing and follow strict curfews and keep a log of their spending. The program has successfully helped participants re-enter society and avoid criminal behavior. It also saves money by reducing prison costs.

    • Q. What is probation?

      Probation is an alternative to incarceration that allows certain clients to stay in the community under the supervision of a probation officer. Probation is a part of the New Jersey court system.

      Probation is not parole. Parole monitors those released from state prison after they serve most of their sentences.

      The probation division also includes a child support enforcement unit that monitors child and spousal support orders.

    • Q. Juvenile Intensive Supervision Program

      The Juvenile Intensive Supervision Program (JISP) is a community-based alternative to detention. The program is more restrictive than traditional juvenile probation. It requires frequent home visits, curfews, family involvement and counseling. As with other juvenile clients, the families of JISP participants are required to participate and to fulfill their responsibilities to help youth succeed.

    • Q. What do probation officers do?

      Probation officers help clients avoid criminal activity and help them change their lives for the better. They are responsible for ensuring clients comply with court orders by monitoring the payment of fines, restitution or reimbursement, and child support.

      Probation supervision involves strict requirements such as regular reporting to probation officers, attending school, work, or job training programs and, when appropriate, mandatory participation in substance abuse and other treatment programs as well as community service.

    • Q. Adult Mental Health Supervision

      Many individuals have undiagnosed or undertreated mental illnesses that go undetected long after their initial entry into the criminal justice system.

      A psychiatric assessment must be administered by a licensed mental health professional to determine if a client is eligible for the program and if they are considered “in crisis.” Being “in crisis” is defined as showing behavior related to mental illness that puts the client or the community at risk of harm.

      The Adult Mental Health Supervision Program does not accept clients who committed sex offenses or crimes involving intimate-partner domestic violence.

    • Q. Child Support Enforcement Unit

      The Probation Child Support Enforcement Unit (PCSE), working with the New Jersey Division of Family Development, is responsible for the monitoring, collection, distribution and enforcement of more than 280,000 cases. Those cases include child support, spousal support, medical support, and alimony obligations. The child support program distributes more than $1.3 billion annually.

    • Q. Quality Assurance and Analytics

      The Quality Assurance and Analytics Unit (QAAU) conducts research and data analysis to monitor and evaluate the performance of probation programs.

    • Q. Adult Supervision Unit

      Adult supervision probation officers monitor and supervise clients who are placed on probation or pretrial intervention to help them change their behavior. Officers evaluate each case, focusing on a client’s individual needs while offering opportunities and support that will help them avoid criminal behavior. Officers work with clients to establish plans to meet their conditions of probation and support the successful completion of goals.