The probation investigation and reporting process is impartial, fair, factual, analytical, pertinent and relevant to the objective of the report. Investigating probation officers must distinguish between fact and professional assessment, and between their own observations and those from other sources. The sources of all relevant information must be reported. Conducting the investigation involves many facets of work and must be orchestrated in a timely fashion to meet court deadlines. Additionally, priority is given to detained persons and family-court-designated felony-act cases.

Investigations and reports should provide the court with relevant and reliable information in a succinct, analytical presentation to aid in the decision-making process. Dispositional and regulatory agencies are entitled access to ths same investigations and reports information for immediate and future decision-making purposes with respect to placement/incarceration, services and program delivery. These dispositional agencies include Probation, Social Services, New York State Office for Children and Family Services (OCFS), Division of Parole, Department of Corrections and any other public institution or agency.

Types of a probation investigations or reports: