Juvenile Probation Services are provided by the Court Service Unit as required by the Code of Virginia. When a juvenile is found guilty of a criminal offense or is found to be a Child in Need of Supervision, meaning they are chronically truant from school or a runaway, they are placed on probation supervision, usually for an indeterminate length of time.
Cases are assigned to a Probation Officer, who meets with the child and the family to determine the youth's risk and protective factors and to develop a plan for supervision and services. The Probation Officer works closely with the youth, their family, the schools and local agencies. The youth will have probation rules covering areas such as curfew, school attendance, meetings with the probation officer and completing any recommended services. A youth may also be required to perform community service, pay restitution or participate in other programs.
Violations of probation can be filed against a youth who does not follow the rules of probation. This will lead to further court action and consequences, which can include detainment at the local juvenile detention home.
Youth who commit a felony or repeated misdemeanor offenses can be sentenced to the local detention center for up to 6 months or can be committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice. Such commitments can be for an indeterminate length of time or a determinate length of time up the the youth's 21st birthday. During commitment a Parole Officer works with the youth, the counselors at the juvenile correctional center and the parents to develop a plan for services.
Upon release from commitment, a youth is placed on parole supervision. Parole is much like probation but usually requires more supervision contacts with the Parole Officer and more intensive services in order to reintergrate the youth back into the community.
Youth can remain on juvenile probation or parole until age 21. Release from probation requires the youth to have no further criminal actions, follow all probation and parole rules, and complete all required services and treatment.