Is It Difficult to Be Supervised by a Probation Officer?

Interviewer: In your experience, how easy or difficult do your clients find it is to deal with the probation officer?

Court Koehler: Probation officers come in all shapes and sizes.  They really do.  Some of them, you know, I hate to say it, but I’ve heard some horror stories and there are some out there that are out for blood and they’re going to be really tough on you.

There are some probation officers that want you to succeed and they’re on your side and they believe in you and they want you to get your life back together and get back on the right track.

Your Attorney May Have Some Influence on Which Agency Supervises Your Probation

Sometimes, the attorney has some say in the agency that conducts the probation, and that can have a large effect on what kind of an officer you’re going to get.  Whenever I can, I try to make sure that my clients end up with a good probation officer.

What Is the Best Way to Work with Your Probation Officer?

Interviewer: Now, if one of your clients is assigned a probation officer that he or she may feel is somewhat aggressive or trying to sabotage them.  What sort of advice would you give to them to deal with that?

Court Koehler: It’s a dangerous situation because a probation officer has a lot of power, and they also have a lot of pull with the courts.  It’s not going to do you very much good most of the time to go into a judge and complain about the probation officer and how hard he is on you.  The only way that that probation officer would suffer any consequences from that was if he had so many people coming in saying the same thing about how he works with his probationers.

It Is Important to Establish a Good Initial Relationship with the Probation Officer

In reality, that’s just usually not going to happen, so what’s important is to make sure that you try and establish a good relationship with your probation officer, so that you don’t get off on the wrong foot and you don’t end up in a situation where they don’t trust you.  My advice to anybody, whether they have a good probation or a strict probation officer is to try and show them a lot of respect and follow their rules to the “T,” and try to make their job easier on them, and that’ll make them easier on you.

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