Information updated January 23, 2006

Juvenile Probation

Juvenile intake and probation services are organized at the county level and are administered by an elected county official. Under the direction of the Juvenile Judge, the Chief Probation Officer has charge of the probation department. Each county operates independently. In the 88 counties of Ohio, three counties are armed. Two counties provide adult and juvenile probation services.
Each county determines arming.

Juvenile Parole

The Department of Youth Services’ Bureau of Parole, which is within the Executive Branch of state government, provides supervision of juveniles after release from an institution.

Juvenile parole officers do not carry a firearm and do not exercise the power to arrest. In 1997 House Bill 1 was enacted and became effective in 1998. It gave the Director of the Department of Youth Services’ Bureau of Parole authority to arm designated parole officers and invoke the power of arrest with regard only to parolees. Parole officers are not classified as peace officers. This was only one component of many components of the new law. Another component established a Release Authority (parole board), which was top priority and required immediate development, implementation and monitoring.

In 2000, the Department of Youth Services hired two consultants to conduct research on arming parole officers. They researched how other states and correctional agencies trained and certified staff, wrote policies, and monitored this activity.

There are no private companies providing juvenile parole supervision services.

Adult Probation

Adult felony probation services in Ohio’s 88 counties are delivered in the following ways:

  1. Probation in Ohio is a function of the county Court of Common Pleas. In counties that cannot afford to operate their own probation services, the Ohio Adult Parole Authority (APA) within the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and correction provides the service. At present, the APA provides 'some level' of probation services in 53 of Ohio's 88 counties. The level of services provided by the APA varies from county to county. In some cases, the APA provides a full range of probation services and in others it supplements the work done by county probation officials. The APA has seven regions and 72 offices.
  2. County-level, judicial branch probation departments deliver services for adult felons in 38 counties. Department chiefs are responsible to the presiding judge of the local Court of Common Pleas.

It is a local decision as to whether an officer carries a firearm. Officers that do carry are classified as law enforcement officers. They have the power to arrest those under their jurisdiction.

The Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission provides firearms education and training. Only those officers who carry are required to take the training. Annual re-qualification is required.

Each county decides the type of firearm the officer carries.

Adult Parole

Within the Executive Branch, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction's Adult Parole Authority (APA) oversees adult parole services.

Officers are required to carry a firearm and are classified as law enforcement officers and do have the power to arrest those under their jurisdiction. Ohio’s firearm policy was instituted approximately 30 years ago and is reviewed and updated at regular intervals.

Officers receive firearm education and training from internal staff instructors who are certified by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission. New officers are required to take a psychological test as part of the hiring process. Officers must proficiently complete firearm training prior to completing the pre-service training.  Annually, officers are required to complete 32 hours of continuing education and training, which includes proficiency testing.

The officers are required to carry a Glock .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun. Officers do have the option to carry their own personal firearm, which has to be approved by training staff. About 85% of the officers carry a state issued firearm, while about 15% carry their own firearm.

There are no private companies providing supervision per se. Counties receive grants from the state to supervise adult offenders from jail and prison diversion programs.

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