About Probation

The New York City Department of Probation is a leader in community corrections, working within the criminal and juvenile justice systems and in the community to create a safer New York. Using Evidence-Based Practices (EBP), and a balance of enforcement, structure, treatment and support, we hold people on probation accountable and give them opportunities to forge new pathways so that they can move out and stay out of the justice system. We work with them to get the education and skills they need to be successful in the job market; to repair and restore important relationships in their lives, including their relationship to their neighborhoods and larger community; and to make decisions that do not cause harm. In this way, probation becomes a stage of opportunity within the justice system, and a time to create a highly individualized "New Now."

DOP's 5 Drivers (video)

DOP's 5 Drivers

To best serve our city and our clients, these 5 drivers are embedded in everything we do:

  1. Assess and Respond to Risk and Needs
    We evaluate all people on probation with an age-appropriate, validated risk assessment instrument. With that knowledge we calibrate the "dosage" of probation to the appropriate risk levels, and we target the needs areas most likely to keep someone involved in the justice system. This is what we call our "one size fits one" approach.

  2. Engaging probation clients
    Using a strength-based approach, our officers spend time with the individuals they supervise to get to know their strengths and aspirations, so that the officers can use that knowledge to motivate and coach their probation clients towards a law abiding future. Probation Officers work with the probation clients and their circle of influence to develop an Individual Action Plan (IAP). The IAP serves as a guide for every meeting, and through the IAP our officers work to develop transformational relationships with clients and keep them accountable as they work on goals and action steps.

  3. Engaging the communities of our probation clients
    Working closely with the communities we serve is critical to client success. Our Neighborhood Opportunity Networks (NeON(SM)) offer easy access to essential services and make clients feel closer to their neighbors. This innovative and successful model of probation supervision has inspired similar efforts nationwide.

  4. Using Data to Guide Decision-Making
    Comprehensive data tracking and monitoring increase efficiency, provide accurate reporting for the public, and improve outcomes for our clients. All DOP Managers are expected to use data to guide their practice, both to improve day-to-day performance and to inform larger policy matters.

  5. Staff Development
    At the NYC Department of Probation, we are committed to the professional growth of our staff. Unified in our mission, and all employees are equally essential to fulfilling our goals. We give clients a transformative experience—changing lives for the better—with trust, compassion, and personal accountability. We do it in close cooperation with the criminal and juvenile justice systems and in collaboration with our community partners and service providers.

As leaders in our field and in the community, our decisions are proactive, grounded in our mission, and guided by experience, research, and program evaluation.