The mission of the Middletown Municipal Court Probation Department is to serve our community by enforcing the Court's orders in an effective, professional manner.
We network with local, state and national resources to maintain the highest standard for all levels of services.
The authority of the department is a statutorily established agency with diverse responsibilities. The responsibilities are specified through pronouncements from two major sources: The Ohio Revised Code and the Middletown Municipal Court. We fulfill these responsibilities with vigor and it is the policy of this Department to use the full extent of its statutory authority to complete this task.
Cases are received by order of the presiding Judge. The Probation Staff are cross-trained and certified in the use of a number of tools to fulfill our duty to the court. One such duty involves court ordered investigations. A variety of investigations may be ordered. One such investigation is the Pre-Sentence Investigation (P.S.I.). The P.S.I. typically includes a gathering of all pertinent information about the case and related police reports. It may include interviews with interested parties and securing documentation of restitution for victims. The defendant is interviewed at length. A variety of assessment test tools are utilized to include chemical dependency screenings, and urinalysis. The L.E.A.D.S and Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle record check services are included. Contacts with other police agencies can be involved. All information in investigations such as the P.S.I. is gathered in a formal report for the Judge.
The goal of the Intake Officer is to assess and identify any problems or issues an individual may have that contribute toward criminal behavior. We utilize a standardized intake process with additional tools available for specific problem areas (i.e. Psychological Evaluations utilizing the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2, Spousal Assault Risk Assessment (SARA), Sexual Adjustment Inventory, etc.). The Probation Department enjoys a close networking relationship with numerous treatment and support services in the community. Chemical dependency and mental health counselors from local treatment sites are in the department throughout the week and contribute additional screenings and consultations. The written screenings are incorporated into the intake procedure along with the material typically incorporated in the P.S.I. described above. The L.S.I.-R. (Levels of Services Inventory-Revised), a product of Multi-Health Systems, Inc. is utilized at the intake point. This test is a standardized tool used to predict recidivism risk (likelihood to fail to remain free of criminal involvement). The L.S.I.-R. results have been tested for many years throughout North America. This test provides an independent tool to measure predicted outcomes of the case.
The Intake Officer develops a Probation Plan by gathering the materials utilized in the P.S.I. and intake testing. The Probation Plan is intended to address any issues that could contribute toward successful rehabilitation. The plan will set priorities and specifies the requirements of the Probation Department. The intention is to identify all treatment or educational requirements in writing at the intake appointment. Prompt intervention following an offense is most effective. Successful programs are also within close proximity to offenders. As a result, the Middletown Municipal Court Probation Department has a priority to refer defendants to treatment in their own community. Some defendants are without driving privileges or transportation. It is also important that the treatment be financially within reach of the client, many of whom have limited resources.
Money which is returned to the community from collected D.W.I. fines (according to Ohio Revised Code) fund an Indigent Treatment Program (I.T.P.). Those who have limited financial resources can be ordered to an intensive level of outpatient chemical dependency treatment program in their own community.
The Probation Department contracts with a local mental health treatment provider for education and therapy programs for domestic violence offenders. Probation Fees are utilized to fund the program, which focuses upon issues of abuse, violence, control, and anger in intimate relationships.
In submitting the Probation Plan, the Intake Officer is very aware of these and other resources and programs in our community, county, and surrounding areas where individuals can get treatment, education, etc.
Supervising probation compliance includes regular face to face contact in the office or a probationer's home. This monitoring is intended to gather documentation that the adult probationer is employed or in school and complying with the Probation Plan.
When an order of probation is received on a criminal case, the defendant may have a variety of attitudes toward his or her situation. Many are relieved to be given an opportunity to remain out of jail but may not agree that there are any problems other than the police and courts or bad luck. Despite the variety of attitudes a probationer may have, the Probation Officer will require regular documentation of compliance with the rules and regulations of probation as well as the Probation Plan.
The Supervising Probation Officer serves in a case management role and seeks to intervene when new problems arise. The Probation Plan may be submitted for modification as other issues unfold. Successful completion of probation includes maintaining employment or educational endeavors, remaining free of criminal behavior and successful completion of treatment or intervention programming. The Probation Officer seeks to move the defendant from an external motivation of compliance to an internal motivation (personal desire) to succeed.
Defendants who fail to comply with probation are cited for violation proceedings with Probation Supervision. Some such offenders will be referred to a court hearing with a recommendation from probation for imposition of sentencing due to failure to comply with probation rules or the Probation Plan. Those who fail to show for court proceedings may have a warrant issued for their arrest.