In cooperation with all local law enforcement agencies and the Indiana State Police, probation officers conduct home visits and residency verification. If the probation officer has "reasonable suspicion" that the offender has violated his probation order, the probation officer or any law enforcement officer acting on behalf of probation may search the offender's person, residence, motor vehicle, or any location where the offender's personal property may be found in order to insure his compliance with his terms of probation. Departmental policy requires that a law enforcement officer be present with the probation officer any time a search is conducted.
Probation officers have completed a variety of training exercises on the subject of probationer searches and officer safety. Federal Probation, Hamilton County Drug Task Force, Hamilton County Sheriff's Department, Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office and others have presented training.
We believe the home visit program provides better protection to the community by better identifying and reporting continued criminal and/or delinquent activity committed by probationers. It is believed that this will initially result in an increase of probation revocations; however, it will eventually cause a reduction in the number of probationers being arrested for the commission of a new criminal or delinquency offense. We believe that probationers at a high risk to re-offend would also likely be participating in behaviors prohibited by the terms of probation. Through a higher level of supervision, it is likely that a technical violation would be filed before a new offense was committed.
We also believe the home visit program reinforces law-abiding behavior by probationers by holding them accountable for their behavior. It also fosters positive relationships with law enforcement agencies and improves communication among agencies.