District Courts administer juvenile probation services. Juvenile probation officers serve under the District Court judges and are hired by the District Court judge. Effective July 1, 2002, the Montana Supreme Court assumed jurisdiction over District Courts, including probation offices. The state Supreme Court also funds probation offices. Judges retain authority over their probation officers with the power to hire.
Juvenile probation officers do not carry firearms, are not classified as peace officers, and do not have the power to arrest or take into custody.
There is a legislative statute that prohibits juvenile probation officers from carrying a firearm.
At the time of this survey, it was not under consideration to allow juvenile probation officers to carry firearms.
There are no private companies providing juvenile probation supervision.
In Montana, juvenile parole is under the Executive Branch, Department of Corrections, Youth Services Division (newly created in the Fall of 2001).
Juvenile parole officers do not carry firearms. Statute does not address juvenile parole officers carrying firearms and policy dictates that they do not.
They are not classified as peace officers and do not have the power to arrest.
The Youth Services Division's position is that Juvenile Parole Officers will not carry firearms.
There are no private companies providing juvenile parole services.
Adult Probation and Parole
In Montana, under a statewide system adult probation and parole are under the Executive Branch, Department of Corrections, Community Corrections, Division of Probation and Parole.
Montanas firearm policy was established in 1987 due to stated safety concerns. Carrying a firearm is not mandatory, but approximately 99% of officers carry a firearm.
While officers are not classified as peace officers they do have the power to arrest or take into custody.
The firearm training is specific to probation and parole and is provided by the department and is certified consistent with Montana law enforcement standards.
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. All probation officers and supervisors must keep current with firearms qualification. Any officer conducting field work must carry a firearm or be with another officer who is carrying a firearm.
The Department has a standardized weapon, the Glock .40, model 22 and 23. Officers who carried personal weapons before standardization can be grandfathered to continue to carry the personal weapon until that weapon is taken out of service.
There are no private organizations that provide adult probation and parole supervision services.
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