Court Services Unit

Specialized probation and related court services must be provided throughout the state for children coming within the jurisdiction of the juvenile and domestic relations district courts. The court services unit or probation department serves the court and facilitates the rehabilitation or treatment of juveniles who come before the court. Services are provided to families of the juveniles as well, to preserve the family structure, if appropriate.

The state Department of Corrections is responsible for developing a state-operated court service unit for counties and cities that are served by regional juvenile and domestic relations district courts and for counties where specialized probation and related court services were not provided as of July 1, 1973. The board of supervisors of any other county also may request the development of a state-operated court service unit, after consulting with the chief judge of the juvenile and domestic relations district court of the jurisdiction. Specialized court services may be provided through a local unit if a county was providing such services as of July 1, 1973.

The state pays the compensation of probation officers and related court service personnel employed by state-operated service units, whereas it pays only one-half of the compensation for local service unit officers and staff members. Each county in which a state-operated court service unit is located must meet minimum standards set by the state Board of Corrections and must provide suitable quarters, all necessary furniture, and utilities, including telephone service, for the court service unit staff.

The governing bodies of each county and city served by a court service unit and the chief judge of the juvenile and domestic relations district court may appoint a citizens advisory council. The council works with the court and the director of the court service unit to develop and to extend the court service program. The council is also charged with the responsibility of visiting institutions that receive children under the court’s authority, and reporting periodically to the court and the governing bodies on the conditions of those children and the work of the council. If the governing body does not exercise its option to appoint a council, the chief judge may appoint an advisory board of citizens to perform the same duties that a council would have performed.