Probation departments are often large, with many employees, and as a result can be challenging for judges as managers. But proactive management best practices can help judges set their departments up for success and reduce the potential for problems before they occur.

Why Probation Oversight Matters

Judges are directly responsible for the management of probation departments.

“Probation officers shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing court and are directly responsible to and subject to the orders of the court.”

Lake County Board of Commissioners v. State of Indiana, 181 N.E.3d 960, (citing I.C. § 11-13-1-1(c)). The judiciary has primary authority over probation officer’s employment. I.C. §§ 11-13-1-1, -3, -8, -9.

As court employees, probation officers are held to high ethical standards because Rule 2.12 of the Code of Judicial Conduct mandates that judges require all court staff and others subject to their control to “act in a manner consistent with the judge’s obligations” under the code.

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