Juvenile Services

It is the primary job of the juvenile probation officer to supervise and monitor juveniles who are placed on court-ordered probation. The officer monitors the juvenile’s adjustment in the home, community, and at school. This monitoring is completed by meeting on a regular basis with the juvenile, parents, school officials, and any community agency providing services to the juvenile.

Placement with Additional Services

The juvenile probation officer is also responsible for writing detailed social histories to assist the court in determining a disposition for the juvenile. When it is determined that due to a juvenile’s behavior they cannot live in the community without additional services, it is the juvenile probation officer’s responsibility to refer and recommend to the court placement of the juvenile outside of their home. These placements may be in a foster home or residential group home.

As a last alternative, the court may order the minor committed to the Illinois Department of Corrections.

The Effingham County Juvenile 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 alcohol diversion program curriculum which focuses on youth who are experiencing a problem with alcohol to the extent that has brought them to the attention of the juvenile justice system for the first time. It is designed to facilitate positive, meaningful, and focused dialogue between an adult facilitator and youth required to attend a diversion program as a result of an alcohol-related incident.

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.

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 Juvenile Redeploy Illinois Program will increase access to community based services while at the same time decrease the number of Department of Juvenile Justice admissions. Redeploy will target those youth in the juvenile justice system who are nonviolent offenders, thirteen to seventeen years of age, and punishable by a Department of Juvenile Justice commitment.

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 cognitive behavioral, 4 hour intervention between a trained facilitator and an offender who has been charged with the offense of retail theft. The curriculum covers making choices and accepting rules but most importantly examines in detail “Who Gets Hurt by Shoplifting”. This program incorporates Victim Offender Mediation which is a face-to-face meeting, between the victim of a crime and the person who committed that crime. In the meeting the offender and the victim talk to each other about what happened, the effects of the crime on their lives, and their feelings about it.

The purpose of this program is to provide first time youth offenders a positive alternative to juvenile court. Young offenders facing criminal charges will have the opportunity to participate in the program which aims to improve attitudes about the legal system, self image, teaching better methods of communication, conflict resolution and preventing a future decision to break the law.