Juvenile Probation

Located in the lower level of the Robert P. Griffin Hall of Justice at 280 Washington Street. For more information, please call 231-922-4650. View the Commonly Used Terms page to help with understanding your juvenile's situation.

Under the leadership of Judge Melanie Stanton, the team of Probation Officers for the 13th Circuit Court - Family Division strive to develop healthy youth and families, while aiming to ensure a safe community.

Emphasized is the process of change through 3 main pillars of probation:
  • Accountability
  • Consequence
  • Treatment
Probation Compliance
When placed on probation at the Dispositional Hearing (sentencing), youth are assigned to a Probation Officer and provided with an Order of Disposition. They are mandated to comply with the probation order for the duration of their probationary period. Typically, the probationary period ranges from 6-12 months. If probation violations occur, probation may be extended indefinitely until compliance is met.

Probation orders are designed to address:
  • Academic status
  • The background history of youth and family
  • Behavioral concerns
  • Individual needs
  • Mental health issues
  • The nature of the offense
A designated Probation Officer meets with the youth and family to conduct a background investigation within 2 weeks of the preliminary hearing.  This information is used to make recommendations to the Judge for the probation order at the Dispositional Hearing.  There is a wide array of dispositional options available for implementation in the probation order.

There is a wide array of dispositional options available for implementation in the probation order. Different options are recommended to become the terms of probation.

Helping the Juvenile
The Juvenile Division embraces the practice of blending consequential and therapeutic measures to fully respond to youth with unlawful behaviors.  Results generated from the Court's assessment instruments, in addition to psychiatric and psychological evaluations and clinical diagnosis, assist in providing a customized direction in determining the probation order best suited for the rehabilitation of the youth being served.

Assessment Instruments
The Probation Department administers 4 assessments for youth who enter the system.  The MAYSI-Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument is used for mental health needs.  The YLS-Youth Level of Service is used to determine criminogenic factors, the ACE-Adverse Childhood Experience is a trauma screening.  In addition to these instruments, a Substance Abuse assessment is conducted to determine levels of drug/alcohol use.

Juvenile probation is designed to promote personal growth, principle driven lifestyles, and law abiding conduct. The Juvenile Division believes that our goal to improve the lives of youth and families is enhanced by:
  • Advocating for and addressing the needs of victims, offenders, families, and communities
  • Building and maintaining community-based partnerships
  • Implementing results based on outcome-driven services and practices
  • Obtaining and sustaining sufficient resources
  • Promoting growth and development of juvenile probation professionals