The Tennessee Private Probation Services Council has issued a letter to various elected officials working within the criminal justice system in Tennessee saying all private probation firms must be registered.
The letter says, “Pursuant to statutory authority granted it by Tennessee Code Annotated, section 16-3-901 et. seq, the Council has promulgated rules that require all private entities providing probation services to be registered by the Council.”
According to the letter, the rules became effective Sept. 6, 2005, requiring registration.
General Sessions Court Judge David Bales stated, “Only properly registered entities may offer or provide private probation services in Tennessee.”
He said the law has a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for each violation and each day of continued violation.
A memorandum attached to the Council letter states, “At the present time there is no one registered to provide probationary services for your (Hamilton) Judicial District."
Judge Bales said, “Registration is easy and relatively inexpensive. Companies offering probation services in Hamilton County should contact the Private Probation Services Council at (615) 253-1565 and register. The fee is $100.”
Judge Bales said the registration requirement "is a relatively new law and simply overlooked by most companies in Tennessee."
He said he believed that if companies would immediately comply "that previous violations unknowingly made would most likely not result in the implementation of fines by the Council."