Information verified October 20, 2008

Juvenile Probation and Parole

In Delaware, juvenile probation and parole services are under the Community Services, Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services, Department of Services for Children, Youth, and their Families.

It is mandatory for the serious juvenile offender officers (SJO) to carry firearms, while there is a policy that forbids all other juvenile officers from carrying firearms.

The SJO have been armed since 1999 through a federally funded grant from JAIBG (Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grants program). The SJO program was initially funded for three years through this grant. Some of the items furnished by this grant included firearms, uniforms, and other equipment. The purpose of the SJO program is to assure the conditions of supervision are aggressively enforced for identified high risk juvenile offenders using zero tolerance and various levels of sanctions.

SJOs are classified as peace officers with the authority to arrest. Body armor and uniforms visibly marked with “Probation and Parole” are mandatory apparel for officers when in the field.

Prior to being allowed to carry a firearm, SJOs must undergo psychological testing. Delaware’s Department of Corrections provides firearm training that SJOs must complete and proficiently pass before carrying a firearm. SJOs must re-qualify twice a year.

These SJO officers are required to carry a .40 caliber handgun that is provided by the department through funds obtained from the JAIBG grant.

In Delaware there are no private entities providing juvenile probation or parole supervision.

Adult Probation and Parole

The Division of Probation and Parole, one of two divisions of the Bureau of Community Custody and Supervision, Department of Corrections within the Executive Branch of state government, is responsible for adult parole, adult felony and misdemeanor probation services in the state.

For officers hired after 1997, it is mandatory for them to carry a firearm. For officers hired prior to that year, it is not mandatory that they carry a firearm. Officers are classified as peace officers whether they carry a firearm or not. They do have the power to arrest. All officers, whether they carry or not, are required to undergo psychological testing. There was no specific incident that prompted the change in Delaware’s firearm policy.

Officers receive training at the Department of Corrections Academy. All new hires and anyone who desires to carry a firearm is required to proficiently complete the training prior to being allowed to carry a firearm.

Continuing education and training are required. Trainings and re-qualifications include two daytime standard courses of fire and one low light shoot. Officers re-qualify three times a year.

They are required to carry a .40 caliber that is provided by the Department Corrections.

There are no private companies providing adult parole or probation supervision.

For updates or corrections to the information on this page, please contact: Diane Kincaid