Knowing how to find someone’s probation officer can be helpful for many reasons such as informing the probation officer about the parolee’s safety, mental well-being, potential drug use, or other probation violations.
Luckily, concerned citizens have the ability to reach out to someone’s probation officer by following just three steps to search the directory below.
1. Know How Probation & Parole Offices Work to Narrow The Search
The first step on how to find someone’s probation officer is to have a grasp of the structure of the probation system. The system comprises federal, state, and county levels, each having its respective officers.
Federal probation officers are under the supervision of the U.S Probation and Pretrial Services and deal with federal offenders. Parole was abolished by the Federal Bureau of Prisons in 1984 under the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 for defendants convicted of federal crimes after November 1, 1987.1
Instead, offenders receive a supervised release which is a hybrid of probation and parole. While their numbers have decreased due to the act, their role has not entirely diminished as they have been placed in charge of other offenders such as old convictions and D.C offenders on parole.2
They are also still referenced as probation officers by the federal government.
State probation officers are state employees under the jurisdiction of their respective state departments of corrections. They oversee offenders that have been released on parole or released under supervision from state correctional facilities upon completion of their prison terms. Parolees serve the remainder of the prison term in the community.
County probation officers operate at the county level and are under the supervision of the municipal, district, and circuit courts. They may also be under the sheriff’s department. County probation officers have both juvenile and adult probation services under their scope.
City probation officers typically oversee a more lax form of supervision, including “suspended imposition of sentence” (SIS) – this is when an offender is under probation where there is no sentence resulting in no conviction when the term of probation ends.3
2. Find Probation Officers by Determining The Type of Crime or Where The Probationer Was Arrested
To find someone’s probation officer, it’s best to first learn how to find out why someone was arrested or at least know where the where the probationer was arrested. In other words, did the offender commit a federal or state crime which has the implication on what jurisdiction the offender may be located, i.e., state or federal jurisdiction, thus:
- Federal offenses would typically include crimes such as drug trafficking or bank robbery and would be classified as being in federal jurisdiction. Offenders, in this case, serve time in federal prisons.
- State offenses may include crimes such as murder and rape and would be under state jurisdiction.
Secondly, the location of where the probationer was arrested would aid narrow the search down even further. This includes state, county, or city which determines the appropriate jurisdiction to check.
This information can be obtained with relative ease, whether or not someone’s probation officer is a public record.4
Note, probation officers’ names are not a part of public records but citizens can report the information to the suggested probation offices below and the information will be given to the appropriate probation officer.
Federal searches for someone’s probation officer will constitute contacting the federal probation office. This can be done online by visiting the Federal Court Finder. The search can be conducted using the city, state, or zip code of where the probationer is located.
Once the appropriate court is located, the requester may click on the link for the probation office and obtain the relevant contact information.
State searches will involve visiting the “community supervision” department for state crimes. This is usually located on the official state websites. The directory in the next sections will provide detailed information on respective states and territories.
County and city searches will usually also maintain “community supervision and correction” offices which can be retrieved from the respective county or city.
It should be noted that confirming that the offender is not back in prison would be ideal. Oftentimes, offenders cycle back between probation and prison due to constantly violating the terms of probation or parole. Over half of offenders on probation are usually re-arrested and placed back in custody.5
Having the offender’s full names and ID numbers would make the search for the probation officers easier; however, knowing aliases and unique identifying marks such as birthmarks or tattoos would be helpful.
Interested persons may perform a parole and probation lookup for a federal offender using the probation and pretrial offices. Each of the 93 of 94 U.S. District courts including U.S territories has both probation and pretrial offices. These two offices may or may not be separated.
The directory below has contact information for all states and can be used to locate federal probation officers.
The directory below has contact information for all states and can be used as a tool on how to find someone’s probation officer.
In addition to federal and state searches, some counties maintain community supervision departments and have probation officers employed by the county. For example, The Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County has a supervision department that caters to standard and intensive probations. The county also has a reentry services section that assists offenders to integrate back into the community.
Contact information can be scoured from the website to perform a parole and probation lookup. No matter the case, inquirers should visit their respective county websites to determine if there is a dedicated department and subsequently make the necessary queries.
In summary, an interested individual considering how to find someone’s probation officer has four categories of search at their disposal: federal, state, county, and in some cases, city, to successfully narrow and locate a probation officer.
Frequently Asked Questions