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Photo of St. Lawrence County building




Gouverneur 99 West Main St. (315) 287-2220
Massena 21 Harrowgate Commons   (315) 764-0441
Ogdensburg 206 Ford St. (315) 229-3886

What is Probation?

Probation is an alternative to incarceration that permits offenders to live and work in the community, support their families, receive rehabilitative services and make restitution to the victims of their crimes. It also addresses juvenile crime with early intervention for youth at risk.

The single most used criminal punishment in the U.S. today, probation is a judicial function governed by the courts that sentence defendants.

When carefully administered and applied only to those who can safely be monitored in the community, it can provide rehabilitation and reintegration of the offender into society, ultimately helping to reduce crime. The St. Lawrence County Probation Department maintains a high standard of public safety by providing solutions to crime, delinquency, and families in crisis. Residents come to probation seeking our assistance in working with troubled youth through our persons in need of supervision (PINS) program. The Probation Department provides public safety through treatment, planning and prevention. St. Lawrence County probation officers are peace officers with dual responsibilities of public safety and rehabilitation. Their ultimate goal is to stop the cycle of crime and prevent offenders from becoming serious and violent criminals.

Probation assists crime victims by requesting victim impact statements from victims when the Department is completing a Pre-Plea or Pre-Sentence investigation. This document allows the crime victim to share with the sentencing court the impact the crime had on them both financially and emotionally. The victim can request the court order restitution to reimburse the victim for their financial losses. Probation informs the court of the victim’s statement and if restitution is ordered, works with the offender to ensure the court ordered restitution is paid. If ordered, restitution is typically paid at a monthly rate by the offender to the Probation Department. Probation then disburses these funds to the victim or victims as they are received.

Probation Officers can assist victims by explaining how the services of the state’s Office for Victims of Crime Board can assist victims. Probation Officers can assist with a referral to A New Hope Center for assistance to victims in completing the application forms. Probation Officers also work closely with victims of domestic violence by offering emotional support and making referrals to services in the community that can assist them, especially domestic violence advocacy programs.

Mission: To enhance the safety and well-being of our communities

  • We believe that Probation is a meaningful part of the Criminal Justice System. Probation should continue as the primary sentencing option for offenders who do not pose undue risk to their communities.
  • We believe that effective supervision involves the management of offenders in accordance with objectively determined risk and individually determined offender needs. By constructively intervening with offenders in this manner, the offender is held accountable, and we have the best possibility of reducing the likelihood that future serious criminal activities will occur.
  • We believe in hiring and retaining qualified staff and providing them with training to enhance their professional skills and build leadership.
  • We believe in providing professional counseling services through Family Services Intake to ensure that all residents of the county have a viable alternative to resolving family problems.
  • We believe in providing the Courts with accurate, reliable, and pertinent information that should serve as the foundation for appropriate decision-making.
  • We believe in the development, implementation, and evaluation of a continuum of community sanctions that are proportional to the offense and are sufficient to address the varying requirements for offender control and accountability.
  • We believe in facilitating victim involvement through victim impact statements and victim access to Probation.