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Guide for Victims of Crime - The Probation Officer

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If the defendant is convicted of a felony, either by trial or by guilty plea, the case is assigned to a probation officer. The probation officer is an employee of the Department of Corrections. In most felony cases, the judge sets the sentencing date several months after the conviction so the probation officer can prepare a pre-sentence report.

A pre-sentence report or investigation is a study of the offender that includes prior criminal history, education, jobs, drug/alcohol involvement, and mental health treatment. The report also states the facts of the case briefly, and describes the effect of the crime on the victims.

The victim impact statement is an important part of the pre-sentence report. This statement lets you tell the judge about the physical, mental, emotional and fiscal injury you have suffered. You may ask for restitution and for conditions of probation to help protect you and your family. You may give an oral statement to the pre-sentence investigator, or send a written statement to the judge, the prosecutor, and the defense attorney. You have the right to speak at sentencing in addition to making these other statements.

After sentencing, a probation officer is responsible for supervising the felony offender during any term of probation. The probation officer monitors the offender to make sure that the offender follows the orders of the court. The probation officer assists the offender in finding work, training, housing, and treatment.

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