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Arizona Supreme Court Administrative Office of the Courts, Adult Services Division


Although probation programs in Arizona are operated at the county level, the State, through the Supreme Court’s Administrative Office of the Courts, retains administrative responsibility for all court programs. The Division’s primary responsibilities in overseeing adult probation programs are to distribute state monies for programs such as standard and intensive probation, and to perform a variety of oversight activities to ensure the State’s contribution is used to increase the effectiveness of all county probation programs. This report addresses the Division’s role in overseeing the various aspects of adult probation service provisions including funding distribution, compliance with statutes involving caseload ratios, and probation service fees. Specifically, the report notes that funding for both the standard and intensive probation programs has been overestimated for fiscal year 1999. Auditors discovered that Maricopa County overestimated the number of probationers actively supervised in January 1998 by more than 4,400 cases. This had a potential budget impact of $3.6 million. Additionally, inaccurate projections of the number of intensive supervision probationers has resulted in the Division overestimating the need for state funding. Moreover, the report notes that the Division needs to provide greater oversight of the collection and use of probation fees. Currently, the Division cannot adequately monitor and assess county efforts in collecting probation fees from probationers nor has it ensured that the fees, once collected, are fully used.