The Jefferson County Probation Department is committed to the protection of the community through innovative and aggressive programs to reintegrate criminal offenders into society as law abiding and productive citizens.
A probation officer is assigned to monitor defendants placed on probation by the Court. Also persons arrested for more serious crimes who are considered to be acceptable risks may be released from custody with specific conditions. This enables them to maintain employment, pay fines and restitution and support their families. The Probation Department will also monitor these individuals compliance with their conditions of release. If the conditions are violated, the person is reported to the Court and will likely be returned to jail. The Probation Department provides the following essential services:
- Provides adult probation services for offenders charged with misdemeanors in the Jefferson County District Court and Port Townsend Municipal Court (pursuant to contract with the County).
- Performs pre-sentence and post-sentence investigations to the Court with sentence recommendations.
- Performs bail studies of potential high-risk offenders and recommends conditions of release.
- Supervises probation conditions that hold offenders accountable and impact their behavior in the community; conditions include treatment for alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence, mental health, sexual deviancy and restitution to victims.
- Develops programs for offender rehabilitation and alternatives to incarceration.
Being Placed on Probation
If you have been placed on probation by the Court, the primary purpose is to ensure that you comply with Court orders. Upon sentencing, your case is referred to the probation office. At that time, the police report is ordered, a file is made and an appointment letter is sent to you along with a questionnaire which you need to fill out completely and bring to your first appointment. At the time of your appointment, the probation officer assigned to your case will review your criminal history, obtain background information, review the incident and your court ordered requirements. You will be meeting with your assigned probation officer on a regular basis. We believe in the team approach and work closely with treatment providers to ensure compliance with the Court's orders.
Generally, your requirements are to get an evaluation, follow all recommendations of that evaluation, have no new law violations, report to probation as directed and to pay your fees and fines in a timely manner. If you fail to comply with any of these conditions, the Probation Department will file a petition alleging a violation of the requirements which will result in your appearing in Court. The Probation Department does not have to meet the same burden of proof that the prosecution did when you were initially charged. Instead of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, all that need be presented is evidence that will reasonably satisfy the judge that you are in violation of your probation requirements.
Under the law, a person convicted of a crime does not enjoy the same level of rights as a person accused of a crime. Failure to appear and provide adequate explanation to the Court for non-compliance can result in the imposition of a portion or all the suspended jail time on your original sentence.