Juvenile Probation Field Services
Mission Statement | Administration
Laura Prillwitz - Deputy Director of Field Services
Cindy Pradier - North County Supervisor
Rod Brown - South County Supervisor
The Field Services Unit of the Denton County Juvenile Probation Department supervises and provides probation and deferred prosecution services (probation) for youth, ages 10-17. These children have either received deferred prosecution through voluntary agreement or have been placed on probation by a court with legal jurisdiction. The rules of probation or deferred prosecution in general require school attendance, good conduct, good citizenship, curfews and participation in specified programs, including community service and financial restitution. Juvenile probation officers enforce these rules, holding the juveniles accountable, while they help the youth and family achieve positive changes.
Parents are expected to participate in their juvenile's probation program. As the source of social, emotional and financial support, the family is key to a successful probation outcome. It is important that parents work closely with the probation officer by knowing the terms and conditions of their child's probation. (See sample Probation Terms of the Juvenile Court: County Court at Law #1). Parents should attend all meetings with the probation officer and juvenile. Parents are an excellent source of information about how their children are progressing or if their children are struggling.
Family-based services and interventions for youth are some of the most well-studied and effective ways to support positive juvenile functioning. Juvenile probation officers are committed to facilitating constructive involvement of parents and family members to assist juveniles in accepting responsibility and to carry out the obligations set by the court. Counseling often focuses on the family's goals for improvement and assists the family in moving toward these goals. Depending on the type of treatment, counselors may come to the family's home to work in their environment or it may be held at a counselor's office. Parenting classes are also an excellent support for parents meeting the challenge of raising youth in today's society. Juvenile probation officers have the responsibility to assist juveniles and their families in meeting the court-ordered terms of probation. Probation officers do all their work in strict adherence to the State mandated Code of Ethics for Juvenile Probation Officers. Juvenile Probation Officers develop individual caseplans with the family and child based on goals and objectives that assist the youth in improving his or her behavior. Community resources are made available to youth and families to aid the juvenile in complying with the terms of probation. If a child is unable to comply with the terms of probation, additional interventions or more restrictive sanctions will be imposed by the Court. These more restrictive sanctions may include counseling, Intensive Supervision Probation, out of the home placements or commitment to a Texas Juvenile Justice Department facility.
Juvenile Probation officers are committed to assisting youth in becoming successful by taking into consideration the unique situation of each child, the child's family, and his/her developmental needs. Officers also have the responsibility for insuring the safety and protection of the community is considered in while providing supervision.
The ultimate goal is for juveniles to succeed on probation and get a fresh start. Juvenile Probation Officers treat juveniles with confidentiality, concern, and respect. Officers work hard to see that youth leaving their care and custody are better equipped to build productive, law-abiding futures. All children have the potential for good and they deserve our best efforts to assist them in becoming good citizens.
Regular Probation Supervision
The majority of juveniles are supervised under regular supervision. Regular supervision caseloads average 30 to 40 youth for each Juvenile Probation Officer. These youth generally report one to two times per month to their Juvenile Probation Officers who work with them toward the attainment of the goals of their caseplans. Special attention is given to any court ordered counseling, attendance in specialized programs, community service and the payment of fines and restitution. Special attention is also given to each child's educational needs and any identified treatment issues. Routine field contacts are made to the home and school.
Intensive Supervision Probation (ISP)
Intensive Supervision Probation is designed for youth considered at a higher-risk than on regular juvenile probation. A juvenile may be placed on ISP due to the severity of his or her offense or because of not complying with his or her probation terms. ISP provides more structured and intensive supervision, intervention, and programming to juveniles and their families and is designed to divert the more serious repeat offenders from being committed to a Texas Juvenile Justice Department facility. Juveniles are required to report to their probation officers more frequently than on regular supervision and may have court ordered counseling and specialized programs requirements. Payment of fines, restitution and community services may be ordered by the court. Special attention is given to children's' educational and treatment needs. Routine field contacts are made to the home and school. ISP officers are specifically trained to provide intensive interaction and carry an average caseload of 20 juveniles.
The Denton County Juvenile Probation Department contracts with area counseling agencies to provide individual, family, and group counseling to referred juveniles and their families. Examples of some of the programming available are:
Juvenile Anger Management (JAM) -- a psychoeducational program geared toward cognitive and behavioral change and a reduction in aggression. It provides a highly structured format employing a combination of education, group interaction and role play to equip participants with alternatives to aggression.
Family Preservation--Juvenile Probation Department's Family Preservation Program provides In-Home based services and provides families with a strength-based approach which focuses on the youth and the family's skills and abilities. The focus is on mobilizing all familial, community, schools and supportive services so the youth and family can make positive changes in their behaviors and lives.
Drug and Alcohol Counseling Group -- groups are arranged by the department to provide individual, family, and group therapy in the area of drug abuse and addiction at varying levels of intensity, based on the level of substance abuse or addiction. The groups vary from psychoeducational groups to intensive treatment.
For a complete list of counseling programs available through the juvenile probation department, go to the Juvenile Probation Program Registry.
MHMR Referral Services
The Denton County Juvenile Probation Department coordinates certain referrals with Denton County MHMR services. Referrals are made to MHMR for services to clients who may need medication assessment or management for mental health issues.
The Denton County Juvenile Probation Department's Restitution Programs promote the restorative juvenile justice concept of rehabilitation of juvenile offenders by holding juveniles accountable for their behavior through a meaningful offender responsibility program that increases awareness of personal accountability for delinquent behavior. These restorative justice programs include:
- Monetary Restitution - Money paid by offenders or parents to victims.
- Direct Service Restitution - Work done by offenders to restore losses, repair damages, or provide compensation services of equivalent value.
- Community Service Restitution - Work performed by offenders as an effort to repay the community through meaningful volunteer work performed for a non-profit agency.
Resources for Parents/Guardians