Probation is a sentencing alternative to incarceration that allows selected offenders the opportunity to serve a criminal sentence in the community under the supervision of a probation officer. Probation supervision allows offenders the opportunity to remain in the community, maintain gainful employment and be a positive asset to their families.
A sentence of probation may require an offender to pay fines or restitution or to seek counseling for substance abuse or family problems. Probation officers also arrange for and monitor community service work that is often required of offenders. Probation Officers also enforce the orders of the court by requiring probationers to submit to drug screening, alcohol/drug abuse treatment, mental health counseling, perform community service, obtain employment, attend school or training and pay court ordered fines and penalties.
Additionally, officers perform field and home visits while also requiring the offenders to report to them on a regular basis in a controlled and secure environment. When an offender is determined to be non-compliant with his or her conditions, they are returned to court for corrective sanctions.
Juvenile Supervision is a dispositional alternative that offers juvenile offenders the opportunity to remain in their own community under the supervision of a probation officer who monitors their compliance with the rules and conditions imposed by the Family Court Judge. These rules and conditions may include completing treatment, paying restitution and fines, and achieving educational goals. The probation officer works with the parent/guardian, treatment provider and school to ensure that the juvenile successfully completes the term of probation and is rehabilitated.
The New Jersey Judiciary, Office of Probation Services operates what is known as the Intensive Supervision Program, or ISP, which has proven successful in rehabilitating serious offenders. Under ISP, offenders who are sentenced to state prison may apply to a panel of judges for release into this special monitoring and supervision program. To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate the willingness and ability to adhere to the program's strict guidelines.
ISP provides a structure in which certain offenders, sentenced to state penal institutions in the traditional fashion, are afforded an opportunity to work their way back into the community under intensive supervision. The program requires that offenders present a plan that their return to the community will result in a positive social adjustment and will not jeopardize the public’s safety. By no means is the Intensive Supervision Program a “slap on the wrist”. It is, as the name implies, “intense”. For that reason, this program is not suited for everyone facing a prison term, and success is not assured. But for those who do succeed, participation can be a life altering experience.
Features of the New Jersey Intensive Supervision Program:
JISP Northern Regional Office
John N. Thomas, Regional Supervisor
31 Clinton Street – 5th Floor
Newark, NJ 07102
Phone: 609-815-3810 ext: 17011
JISP Southern Regional Office
Ajisa Campbell, Regional Supervisor
101 Haddon Avenue – Suite 460
Camden, NJ 08103
The New Jersey Judiciary, Office of Probation Services operates what is known as the Juvenile Intensive Supervision Program, or JISP which has proved successful as an alternative to commitment for juveniles charged with criminal behavior. JISP is an option for Family Court judges, who begin the acceptance process with a referral. First degree dispositions, those involving Megan Law sex offenses and arson in the current offense are ineligible to participate.
JISP receives referrals from Family Court judges in each of the vicinages, conducts admissions investigations and fully explains the program requirements to the youth and family to determine the potential for a JISP candidate to succeed in the program. The typical supervision periods is eighteen months, at the discretion of the Family Court Judge.
The Juvenile Intensive Supervision Program provides a community-based rehabilitative alternative to commitment and probation. The program is more restrictive than traditional juvenile probation, with requirements including frequent home, school and community contacts, curfews, family involvement, and counseling. As with other juvenile probationers, the families of JISP participants are required to join with JISP to help youth achieve success.
Attendance in school and/or work is required and monitored, as well as participation in community service when ordered. Curfews are enforced, as is attendance in support groups, substance abuse and mental health treatment when indicated. Effort to pay court ordered fines and restitution to victims is required.
The program provides positive reinforcement for individual success, while protecting the community by enforcing court orders with sanctions for noncompliance. Rewards extend from reduced curfews to early release from JISP for participants who demonstrate exceptional progress. Graduation ceremonies take place in family court and are enjoyed by judges, families and the youth as a positive celebration in the courtroom.