Juvenile Probation and Parole

The Bureau of Juvenile Justice (BJJ), which operates within the Michigan Family Independency Agency (FIA), develops policy, operates institutions and administers State and Federal grants and reimbursement funding to counties. Juvenile Courts at the local level administer intake, probation investigation, and probation supervision. Courts may retain local jurisdiction of youth, or transfer them to State wardship via Act 150.

Court juvenile probation staff supervise court wards. Juvenile justice specialists, who operate out of each county FIA office, supervise state wards.

Juvenile justice specialists and court juvenile probation staff do not carry a firearm and they are not considered peace officers. They cannot arrest or take juveniles into custody.

There is a policy spelling out what they can do, but it does not specifically indicate that they cannot carry a firearm. The role of the juvenile justice specialists is geared more towards case management and is more in the social service arena instead of the corrections arena.

At the time of the survey, it was not under consideration to allow these officers to carry a firearm.

There are currently many private agencies under contract with the state that house juveniles in their private institutions, and some that supervise them in the community following release. There is no consideration of contracting with a private company to “take over” community supervision statewide.

Adult Probation and Parole

Within the Executive Branch of state government, the Michigan Department of Corrections, Field Operations Administration is responsible for adult felony probation and parole supervision. District courts manage misdemeanant supervision.

Probation and parole officers have the right to carry a firearm. They are not classified as peace officers. Parole officers do have the power to arrest parolees. Probation officers do not have the power to arrest.

Officers have been carrying firearms since 1988. There was an incident involving a juvenile probation officer that prompted this change in policy.

They receive training from the Department of Corrections. Those who desire to carry a firearm must proficiently complete the training prior to being allowed to carry a firearm. If a probation or parole officer is unable to complete the training successfully, they will be given a second opportunity at a later date. If they are unable to pass the second time, future efforts to qualify will require the officer to complete it on personal time. Officers are required to receive continuing firearm training and must re-qualify every year.

Officers are required to carry a 9mm, .40 caliber, or a .357 caliber. The officer provides the firearm. They must qualify on the firearm they are going to carry. The Department provides the ammunition. The firearm is not available at a reduced cost to the officers.

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

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