Information Verified March 10, 2006

Juvenile Probation and Parole

In Georgia, juvenile probation and aftercare services are administered in one of three different ways. Services may fall under the judicial or executive branch, or a mixture of these branches.

In 134 of Georgia’s 159 counties, the Department of Juvenile Justice under the Executive Branch oversees juvenile intake and probation.

In 15 of Georgia’s counties, intake and juvenile probation are administered by local juvenile courts, under the Judicial Branch of Georgia’s Administrative Office of the Courts.

In the 10 remaining counties, the Department of Juvenile Justice and the local juvenile courts share intake and juvenile probation.

In all 159 counties, the Department of Juvenile Justice, under the Executive Branch oversees all youth committed to the agency, which includes community placement, secure placement, and aftercare services.

The firearms policy applies statewide, regardless of how the probation and aftercare supervision services are administered. Officers do not carry a firearm. They are not classified as peace officers but may take those under their supervision into custody.

There is a Department of Juvenile Justice policy that prohibits officers from carrying a firearm. At the time of the survey, it was not under consideration to allow officers to carry a firearm. Periodically the issue is brought up due to safety concerns of officers.

There is a private provider of aftercare services in one area of the state.

Adult Probation

The Probation Division of the Department of Corrections, within the Executive Branch of state government, is responsible for field operations of adult felony probation services. As of 1-1-2001, counties are responsible for misdemeanant probation supervision or they may contract with private entities for the supervision of misdemeanant offenders.

Carrying a firearm is a job requirement for all sworn positions (probation and surveillance officers). They are classified as peace officers and do have the power to arrest. Georgia’s firearm policy was instituted many years ago.

Officers receive training from DOC instructors certified by the Peace Officer Standard and Training Council. All officers are required to receive basic probation officer training consisting of 160-hours of training which includes 16 hours training for firearm certification. These training hours are all Peace Officer Standard Training (POST) certified. Officers who are unable to complete the training may be terminated and/or are allowed no more than two opportunities to successfully complete the training. Officers must receive at least 20 hours of POST certified training each year, which includes firearms training four times per year and re-qualification. They do not undergo psychological testing prior to being allowed to carry a firearm.

They are required to carry a .40 caliber that is provided by the Department of Corrections. Officers may also carry an optional, departmentally authorized, personal secondary .40 caliber firearm, which they must purchase on their own. Ammunition is also provided by the Department of Corrections.

There are a number of private companies providing supervision to misdemeanants.

Adult Parole

The Board of Pardons and Paroles, Field Operations is part of the Executive Branch of state government. Through its Field Operations Division, the Board provides parole supervision to approximately 21,000 adult parolees statewide.

Parole officers are required to carry a firearm at all times when on duty. They are classified as peace officers through the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council. Georgia parole officers are authorized to serve Board warrants and conduct arrests in the performance of their duties for the Board. Officers do undergo pre-employment psychological testing.

The officers must meet standards of qualification set by the POST Council during the 320-hour basic training mandate in order to carry a firearm. Subsequent to the initial qualification the Parole Board requires officers to re-qualify twice annually in order to maintain proficiency with firearms and arrest procedures. Training is conducted by Board employed/POST certified firearms instructors. Georgia’s firearm policy was instituted over 25 years ago.

The Board’s standard service weapon is a .40 caliber semi-automatic provided by the state.

There are no private companies providing adult parole supervision.

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