The Adult Probation Department prepares investigative reports and other documents for the courts that aid judges in reaching appropriate court dispositions. It is essential that the judges and commissioners receive accurate, thorough, and timely information to assist them in making detention and sentencing decisions regarding criminal offenders. The courts depend on the department to provide investigative reports on criminal cases that include detailed information regarding the circumstances of the offense, background of the defendant, statements from victims and involved parties, an analysis of aggravating/mitigating factors in felony cases, and a discussion and recommendation to aid the courts in making sentencing decisions. Officers also provide information to assist the courts in determining the eligibility and appropriateness of offenders for specific programs.
Mandated services are spelled out in the California Penal Code and Welfare and Institutions Code that include specifics on duties of Probation Officers to prepare investigation reports within legal time frames that enable the courts to make detention and disposition sentencing decisions for adult defendants. Deputy Probation Officers assigned to investigation functions conduct approximately 250 investigations per month. The courts receive investigative reports that include detailed information regarding the circumstances of the offenses, background of the defendants, statements from involved parties, analysis of all factors in the cases, and recommendations to aid the courts in making sentencing decisions. Probation also assists in screening appropriate cases for diversion services, thereby allowing the courts to focus on the most serious cases.