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Probation Intake: Gatekeeper to the Family Court

NCJ Number
Federal Probation: A Journal of Correctional Philosophy and Practice Volume: 72 Issue: 1 Dated: June 2008 Pages: 48-53
Charles Lindner
Date Published
June 2008
6 pages
This article presents an historical overview of the probation intake process and the role of intake officer within the Family Court system.
A unique feature of the Family Court is the preliminary procedure known as probation intake. The probation intake system is designed to screen inappropriate cases out of the formal court process. Virtually all juvenile cases in which an application is made for a court petition are first seen by an intake officer, usually a probation officer. The intake officer serves in the critical role of gatekeeper of the juvenile court. The intake officer decides, within limitations, whether the case should have a petition drawn and referred to court, be adjusted and diverted from the court, be held open for a period of short-term counseling or informal oversight, or recommend that a petition be drawn with a referral for detention. This article provides an historical perspective of probation intake within the Family Court system. References