New York Courts dot gov
New York StateUnified Court System


About The Task Force

"Probation, intimately tied to the work of the Judiciary, is intended to give offenders a second chance-to help them reclaim their lives and become productive citizens. As we have learned from our drug court programs, close monitoring can reduce recidivism. So can probation, with close monitoring of curfews, drug tests, community service and other release conditions. Offender accountability is the key: accountability for past mistakes; for keeping appointments with judges, probation officers and case workers; for keeping promises to do better.

Under current law, the State Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (now, Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives), has a general supervisory role in this area. In actuality, however, New York’s probation departments are operated and administered locally. Critically overburdened and underfinanced, many probation agencies have too few officers, too few caseworkers and little modern technology to enforce probation conditions. And because resources vary from county to county, so does consistent enforcement of probation policies. The result is a widespread perception that, at least in some parts of New York State, probation loses precious opportunities to end the cycle of crime. While State operation of probation holds the promise of consistency across New York’s 62 counties, questions also linger over whether local probation agencies should be in the Executive or the Judicial Branch. In New York, we’ve had both models. Which approach is better merits further study.

To address the issue of strengthening probation, I announce today a Task Force on the Future of Probation in New York State, led by former State Senator John R. Dunne, an outstanding Albany attorney who also served as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Justice. It is time for a new era of State responsibility for probation."

- Taken from then-Chief Judge Kaye's 2006 State of the Judiciary Address


Members of the Task Force



The Future of Probation in New York State (Report, November 2008)