Juvenile Probation and Parole
The Maine Department of Corrections, Division of Juvenile Services, is an executive state agency providing institutional and community-based juvenile correctional services and programs statewide. This includes intake, probation, detention, shock sentence, commitment and aftercare services.
Probation and aftercare supervision is provided by Juvenile Community Corrections Officers (JCCOs).
JCCOS do not carry a firearm. They are classified as law enforcement officers. They have limited law enforcement powers of arrest. They have the legislative authority to arrest probation violators, aftercare (parole) violators, and those in violation of a Conditional Release status established by the Division or by the court pending disposition of an alleged juvenile offense. They have no authority to arrest other individuals for offenses unrelated to the above. This limitation is by statute.
The Division of Juvenile Services does not permit JCCOs to carry a firearm on the job as part of routine work.
At the time of the survey, it was not under consideration to allow JCCOs to carry a firearm.
There are no private companies providing juvenile supervision, detention or commitment services.
Adult Probation and Parole
Located within the Executive Branch of state government, the Department of Corrections, Division of Adult Community Corrections is responsible for adult felony and misdemeanant probation services. The Division of Adult Community Corrections provides all probation and parole services in the State of Maine.
In 1976, the State of Maine abolished parole. In 1998, a new program entitled Supervised Community Confinement was introduced targeted at prisoners with one year or less remaining on their sentence. Prisoners must apply to be admitted into the program and once admitted are supervised by probation officers within the Division of Adult Community Corrections.
In 1997, the state of Maine implemented a policy that required that all probation and parole officers in the state meet certain contact standards which included among other things, conducting home visits, often times during non-business hours. Concurrent with this requirement was a policy that required that all officers carry a firearm when meeting these contact standards for certain high risk offenders, especially that portion of the policy requiring after hour home visits or when engaged in other high risk activities.
While officers are not classified as peace officers, they do have the power to arrest or take into custody.
Although officers have the option to carry, all must attend the firearms/use of force training, which is a 40-hour training and proficiently complete the various phases of the training before being allowed to carry a firearm. Officers practice monthly and re-qualify semi-annually. Firearms education and training in the State of Maine is conducted through the firearms Training Unit at the Maine State Prison. All Maine probation officers must re-qualify annually in order to continue to carry their firearm.
All probation and parole officers hired after implementation of the firearms policy are hired with the express condition that they first pass the firearms training course. Failure to achieve a passing score on the firearms course means that they cannot be offered employment as a probation and parole officer with this department. Officers who were employed prior to implementation of the firearms policy or officers who were hired after the implementation date, initially qualified but subsequently failed to re-qualify, cannot be terminated for failure to pass the firearms course but they will be offered remediation. Until such time as they obtain a passing score on the firearms course, officers who fall into this category will be required to be accompanied by another probation or law enforcement officer when conducting home visits on certain high risk clients or when they engage in other activities that the policy notes as requiring the presence of someone legally authorized to carry a firearm.
The State of Maine reserves the right to do psychological testing for new hires. If the Associate Commissioner for Adult Community Corrections has any concern as to the psychological well being of any officer he/she may request that the officer be referred for psychological testing.
There is no specific type of firearm required. The department has a certain number of firearms available. The calibers that are available through the department and that have been approved for the officers to provide are .44, .45, .357, and 9mm. When a departmentally issued firearm is not available, officers may select one of their own firearms contingent upon departmental approval.
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