State Supervision Probation
Qualifications for State Supervision Probation
- State supervision is a sentencing category within the Juvenile Sentencing Guidelines Matrix.
- Youths qualify for state supervision based on the severity of the presenting offense, criminal history and aggravating or mitigating circumstances.
- Probation officers may also recommend to a judge that a youth be placed on state supervision probation if the officer can articulate that the youth's score on the Protective and Risk Assessment warrants such placement and that the services available through state supervision probation would address the youth's needs and are not available outside of the state supervision sanction.
- Youths requiring residential treatment shall not be recommended for placement on state supervision.
- Probation officers shall make a sentencing recommendation to the judge based on the final guidelines calculation or other factors as stated above.
Placement on State Supervision
- Only a judge can order a youth to state supervision probation.
- Only youth ordered to state supervision shall access state supervision funded programs.
Principles of State Supervision
State supervision was instituted in the state of Utah in 1997 in response to the need for a more intensive level of supervision for chronic offenders. The goal of state supervision probation is "to prevent high-risk juvenile probationers from further penetrating the juvenile justice system by providing individualized, intensive services and interventions while maintaining the youth at home." State supervision probation is considered an intermediate sanction between probation and community placement with the Division of Juvenile Justice Services. Youth who are placed on state supervision are generally more serious offenders and therefore are supervised at a higher, more intensive level than regular probation. Mandatory weekly office visits are expected with random field visits to the youth's school, employment and home. More programs and funding are available for youth who are at this level of supervision. The programs range in intensity from after school educational classes to short-term out-of-home residential or wilderness placements.
State Supervision Probation Process
State supervision probation begins the moment a judge enters an order for state supervision. State supervision probation is an indefinite period of time and can only be terminated by court order. At the court hearing, youth are placed on house arrest for three weeks as an alternative to being placed in detention (some youth are placed in detention depending on the seriousness of the crime). Usually within two working days, the youth and family will receive a phone call or visit from a probation officer who will set an appointment for an orientation during which time the youth will learn about the State Supervision Probation Order, house arrest and drug testing. The first month of state supervision probation is an assessment and planning phase* in which the probation officer will interview the family and youth, and speak with school officials and allied agencies to gather as much information as possible in order to best help the youth and his or her family. This information will be entered into an assessment tool on the computer called the Protective and Risk Assessment (PRA). The PRA identifies each individual youth's risk factors and protective factors. Risk factors are those things that put youth at risk for future offending, and protective factors are those things that protect youth from future offending. The probation officer then identifies the top three risk factors that directly relate to the offense that brought the youth on probation. Those three risk factors become the focus of the correctional plan or set of goals that the youth must complete before successful discharge from probation. The philosophy behind this process is that if the youth changes the risk factors that brought him or her onto probation into protective factors, then they will most likely not be referred to juvenile court in the future.
* If the youth is ordered to state supervision following probation, there is not an additional assessment phase.