The 17th District Court Probation Department is composed of three full time probation officers, volunteer probation officers and a secretary. Their office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Probation Officers have continued to explore various pro-active means of effectively dealing with defendants convicted on misdemeanor charges. The Same Day Sentencing Program remains an efficient tool in reducing the time between acceptance of a plea and sentencing in gun, drug, alcohol, retail fraud, and domestic violence cases. Swift justice and timely referrals for defendants have been ensured with no loss of integrity or availability of information to the judges.
In 2007, the Probation Officers conducted 294 alcohol screenings/pre sentence investigations. Both the alcohol screenings and pre sentence investigations include a written questionnaire which is completed by the defendant. This questionnaire (NEEDS assessment) is then scored through a computer program approved by the State of Michigan – Department of Substance Abuse. The final step is an individual interview with one of the probation officers. Using all of the data, the assessment process is concluded with a written recommendation. All three of the probation officers have met the State’s certification requirement that includes forty hours of approved continuing education programs every two years.
The Probation Department handles approximately 845 cases with most defendants reporting once a month. The Probation staff monitors such areas as employment, new criminal activity, drug and alcohol use, counseling, and Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous meeting attendance.
The following is a list of some of the programs that are utilized by the 17th District Court:
- Victim Impact Program -
Originally this program was designed by the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), where individuals convicted on an alcohol related offense listen to victims or family members of victims convey ways in which alcohol has affected their lives. In addition, probationers must view an educational video that stresses the consequences of driving while intoxicated. Probationers must attend at least one session during the first two months of their probation term.
- Work Program- The Redford Township Work Program is used as a sentencing alternative which is targeted at assigning nonviolent offenders who may face undue hardship if sent to jail for an extended period of time. Probationers are assigned for a specific number of days to perform tasks including removing debris from the shoulders of township roads, repainting graffiti stained building and bridges, or maintaining areas around baseball fields and golf courses. Probationers are assessed $30 for each day they are assigned to the Work Program, which covers the cost of supervision and insurance.
- Daily P.B.T. - The Probation Department staff conduct daily Preliminary Breath Tests for defendants who have been ordered to submit to alcohol testing. These tests are conducted Monday through Friday at the court and on the weekends at the Redford Police Department or through privately operated clinics.
- Drug Testing -
On site drug testing is conducted by the Probation Department. Probationers are also required to submit to random drug testing through private counseling agencies.
- Tether -
The tether is an electronic monitoring device that is used to place people under house arrest. The defendant can only leave their home during specified hours for work, counseling and AA/NA meetings.
- Alcohol Tether - The alcohol tether not only requires the defendant to remain under house arrest during non-working hours, but, also requires them to blow into a machine that will measure their alcohol level.
- Domestic Violence Tether - This tether is installed in the victim’s home and the defendant is required to wear an ankle band. If the defendant goes anywhere near the victim’s home, the tether unit will send a signal to the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department. The police will immediately be dispatched to the victim’s home and the defendant can be arrested.