Role of Probation

Juvenile probation officers serve the Circuit Court judge and serve at that judge's pleasure. They are therefore part of the judicial branch of government.

Probation Officers

I.C. 31-31-5-4:

  • Conduct such investigations and prepare such reports and recommendations as the court directs and keep a written record of those investigations, reports and recommendations
  • Receive and examine complaints and allegations concerning matters covered by the juvenile law and make preliminary inquiries and investigations
  • Implement informal adjustments
  • Prepare and submit the pre-dispositional report required for a dispositional hearing under the juvenile law
  • Supervise and assist by all suitable methods a child placed on probation or in the probation officer's care by order of the court or other legal authority
  • Keep complete records of the probation officer's work and comply with any order of the court concerning the collection, protection, and distribution of any money or other property coming into the probation officer's hands
  • Perform such other functions as are designated by the juvenile law or by the court in accordance with the juvenile law


All children under the age of 18 who commit an act that would be a crime except:

  • Violations of ordinances
  • Infractions
  • A child previously waived to adult court

Children over age 16 who:

  • Commit a traffic misdemeanor other than alcohol related

A child alleged to have committed:

  • Murder
  • Kidnapping
  • Rape
  • Robbery
    • The robbery was committed while armed with a deadly weapon; or
    • The robbery results in bodily injury or serious bodily injury
  • Criminal gang intimidation
  • Carrying a handgun without a license
  • Children and firearms
  • Dealing in a sawed off shotgun
  • Carjacking
  • Criminal gang activity

Any juvenile who commits a status offense if it can be proven that the child needs the coercive power of the court to receive a service. This includes:

  • Curfew violation
  • Truancy
  • Beyond parental control
  • Away without parental permission