PA 11-155—HB 6635

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE COURT SUPPORT SERVICES DIVISION OF THE JUDICIAL BRANCH

SUMMARY: This act modifies the duties of probation officers by:

1. expressly requiring them to supervise and enforce all court-ordered probation conditions;

2. extending their supervisory authority to offenders arraigned without a warrant for probation or conditions of release violations;

3. consistent with current practice, relieving them of responsibilities for collecting and disbursing money;

4. limiting their involvement with arrested juveniles; and

5. allowing them to transport probationers to the nearest location where a police officer can make an arrest.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

ARRAIGNMENTS FOLLOWING WARRANTLESS ARRESTS

The act gives probation officers the same responsibilities for probationers arraigned without a warrant for a probation or condition of release violation as they currently have for probationers charged with the same violations who come before the court on a notice to appear or an arrest warrant. With respect to the new group, the charged violations result in:

1. an interruption in sentence until the court makes a final decision on the charges,

2. continued probation supervision and a requirement that they continue to comply with the conditions of release that were in place immediately before arraignment, and

3. a requirement that the Judicial Branch's Court Support Services Division make reasonable efforts to inform them of their conditions of release.

LIMITING INVOLVEMENT WITH ARRESTED JUVENILES

Under the act, courts no longer can commit to a probation officer a juvenile who is:

1. committed to a community correction facility and in default on bail or

2. arrested, while his or her case is being investigated.

It removes the related requirement that the police notify probation officers of juvenile arrests as soon as practicable.

TRANSPORTING SUSPECTS

By law, probation officers may detain an offender they believe (1) has violated a probation condition or (2) is the subject of unexecuted state or federal arrest warrants. The detention can last for a reasonable time while the probation officer waits for a police officer to arrive at the scene to make the arrest. When the police cannot arrive within a reasonable time, the act allows the probation officer to transport the probationer to the nearest location where a police officer can make the arrest.

BACKGROUND

Probation and Conditional Discharge

A court may order an offender, other than one convicted of a serious felony or certain motor vehicle violations, to a period of probation when it finds:

1. present or extended institutional confinement is unnecessary;

2. the offender is in need of guidance, training, or assistance which, in the offender's case, can be effectively administered through probation supervision; and

3. granting probation is not inconsistent with the ends of justice.

A court may impose a term of conditional discharge on an offender convicted of an offense described above if:

1. present or extended institutional confinement is not necessary and

2. probation supervision is not required.

In either case, the court may issue conditions of release covering such things as working, attending school, or undergoing treatment. Other statutory conditions also apply.

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