Adult Services

Adult Probation Services is responsible to the Court for investigating and supervising offenders and alleged offenders. Thirteen (13) staff provide services in the following areas: Pretrial, Presentence Investigation, Standard Probation, Sex Offender, Domestic Violence, DUI, Drug, Mental Health and Veteran’s Court, Public Service, Cognitive Behavioral Programming (Moral Reconation Therapy) and Support units provide these services.

Written investigative reports are provided to the Court at the sentencing stage, and during supervision. These reports include complete background checks on individuals and are used by judges to make appropriate sentencing decisions. If an offender is sentenced to pretrial or probation supervision, the conditions imposed by the Court are monitored by probation officers and include office visits, home and work contacts, facilitation of treatment, urinalysis testing, public service work, and criminal record checks. Other types of interventions unique to an offender’s circumstance, such as monitoring the computers of sex offenders, are also offered.

Every effort is made to help offenders change their behavior so they will not continue to break the law. If these efforts fail, violators are referred back to court for punitive action that could include jail or prison time.

The Effingham County Probation Department Functions:

In response to Public Act 89-198, the Fourth Judicial Circuit Probation and Court Services Departments have developed an Administrative Sanctions Program to ensure swift, certain and equitable sanctions for technical violations of adult and juvenile offenders sentenced to probation. The purpose of the program is to respond to all identified technical violations of probation in a consistent manner that considers the risk and needs of the offenders, is proportional to the risk to the community and utilizes the least restrictive response to achieve long-term positive behavioral change.

A 10 hour curriculum designed for educating adult offenders who have been charged with his/her first Illegal Consumption/Transportation of Alcohol offense. This curriculum is designed to help educate offenders on the dangers of under age drinking and teach offenders to take responsibility for their actions and to make real changes in their thinking, beliefs and behaviors.

The Probation caseload of drug abusive offenders continues to increase throughout our counties. Information received through intakes, probationer meetings with their officers and collateral contacts indicate that drug abuse is also a contributing factor to various criminal behaviors. Therefore, the use of in-house drug testing will increase the effectiveness of our supervision as a means for identification, intervention, deterrence and resource referral.

Drug Courts are the most effective justice intervention for treating drug-addicted people. Drug Courts reduce drug use. Drug Courts reduce crime. Drug Courts save money. Drug Courts restore lives. Drug Courts save children and reunite families. Eligible drug-addicted persons may be sent to Drug Court in lieu of traditional justice system case processing. Drug Courts keep individuals in treatment long enough for it to work, while supervising them closely. Participants are: provided with intensive treatment and other services they require to get and stay clean and sober; held accountable by the Drug Court judge for meeting their obligations to the court, society, themselves and their families; regularly and randomly tested for drug use; required to appear in court frequently so that the judge may review their progress; and rewarded for doing well or sanctioned when they do not liveup to their obligations.

The Effingham County Probation Department shall ensure the timely availability of electronic monitoring/GPS services as a sentencing alternative for public safety and the well-being of the defendant.

The Effingham County Public Service Work Program has been in effect since 1988. Under the public service work program, offenders make restitution to the community while having an opportunity to demonstrate ability, develop skills and improve work habits which might aid them in experiencing a more productive life style.

A one (1) hour program held every other month from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Effingham County Government Center. The Probation Department arranges for three (3) speakers to share their experiences with losing a family member or loved one from a drunk or drugged driving crash. ($10.00 fee)