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Probation Department

The Probation Department is involved with youth who are adjudicated delinquent or unruly and need services beyond the intake and preliminary hearing levels. Currently, Juvenile Probation Counselors are employing case management techniques to bring a balanced approach in dealing with juvenile accountability, competency development and individualized assessment and treatment toward the goal of rehabilitation of the youth. In addition, the Probation Counselors emphasize parental accountability and responsibility. Some of the current responsibilities of Juvenile Probation Counselors are as follows:

  • Employment of graduated community sanctions.
  • Re-evaluate case plans every 90 days.
  • Discharge planning for youth as released from the Erie County Detention Center.
  • Referrals to out of home placement based on needs matched to services and accompany youth for pre-placement interviews.
  • Monitor progress monthly for youth in out of home placements.
  • Discharge planning from out of home placements for return to the community.
  • The Probation Counselor provides close supervision and coordination by direct contact with the treatment professionals.
  • Collaborative efforts with Sandusky City Schools led to the development of Alternative Education Programs. First, the Evening School Program was developed to assist those young people under the Court's supervision who have difficulty gaining academic credit due to poor attendance, behavior or performance. In August 1999, another program started as a result of collaboration between Family Court, Sandusky City Schools and Firelands Counseling and Recovery Services. The alternative program has three levels and focuses on the strengths and skills of the child and family to promote academic success.
  • In 1999, the Probation Department developed a program through a grant from the Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grant Program for youthful violent offenders who enter the Detention Center. A mental health therapist sees the child and family at the Detention Center and does a risk assessment, safety plan and provides immediate and follow-up interventions. A Probation Counselor completes a Youth Level of Service Inventory to evaluate the youth's risk level and supervision needs. Often the youth are released from the initial detention hearing with services and a safety plan in place.
  • In 2000, the Probation Department developed the position of a school based Probation Counselor. This is a probation supervision model in which the counselor has an office in the school rather than within the Court. This model has proven to increase the amount of time in direct client contact, which increases probation compliance and improves the client's relationship with the school personnel.
  • In 2001, a gender specific caseload for females was developed. The Probation Counselor networks in the community for services and opportunities for the female probationer. In this model of supervision more work is done in a group format than with the traditional caseload.

Effective January 1, 1998, because of changes in the law, there was an addition of Adult Charges for Contributing to the Delinquency/Unruliness of a Minor being routed through the Court and thus directed to the Probation Department. Dispositions for the adult cases were designed to assure that no similar offenses occurred in order to protect the youth of Erie County. Dispositions included jail sentences, fines and court costs, drug/alcohol assessments and treatment, individual and family counseling, sex specific evaluation and recommendations, medication compliance, parenting classes, participation in Family and Child First Wrap Around Teams, Adult Thinking Errors class, restitution, letters of apology to the victim and the victim's family, and orders of no contact with minors.