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Probation and Pretrial Services

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Federal offices of Probation and Pretrial Services assist in the administration of justice and promote community safety. They work on the frontlines of federal offender supervision.

By statute, probation and pretrial services officers serve as law enforcement officers in the judiciary. They

  • gather information through interviews and other means
  • supervise offenders/defendants
  • interact with collateral agencies
  • conduct investigations and prepare reports, using technology applications
  • present recommendations to the court
  • enforce court-ordered supervision and implement supervision strategies
  • maintain personal contact with defendants and offenders to assess compliance and risk factors, lifestyle choices, and mental health issues
  • implement the necessary treatment or violation proceedings, through assessment, monitoring, and counseling
  • exercise good judgment in making recommendations to the court that affect public safety
  • demonstrate good communication and organizational skills
  • guide the work of probation/pretrial services officer assistants and other staff

Officers must have prior law enforcement experience. The majority of federal probation and pretrial services officers hired have completed at least an undergraduate degree. Federally mandated age requirements are described in position vacancy announcements.

Staff in many professional disciplines work in federal probation and pretrial services offices to support the work of officers, as indicated in position opening announcements.