About the Department
The Bradford County Probation Department provides probation and parole services to adult and juvenile offenders for the 42nd Judicial District of the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas. The services provided to the court, and the community, conform to the laws and regulations established in Pennsylvania.
The primary focus of the department is to provide supervision, care and rehabilitation to adults and juveniles sentenced or released to the community, consistent with the protection of the public interest and community. Offenders are held accountable for the offenses they committed by being ordered to pay fines and perform community service. Offenders are referred to human service agencies in which they may develop competencies to enable them to become responsible and productive members of the community.
Whenever possible, the department attempts to assist offenders in working out their problems within community and family environment. When an offender fails to comply with the conditions of supervision, or they become a threat to the community through the commission of a criminal offense, the department's power as a law enforcement agency is used to refer the case to court or arrest and detain the offender.
The Probation Department is responsible for juvenile and adult probation/parole services for the 42nd Judicial District of the Court of Common Pleas for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This judicial district consists of Bradford County. The employees of the Probation Department work for the Court, and answer directly to the President Judge Jeffery A. Smith. The Probation Department provides intake services to the Criminal Court by preparing pre-sentence investigation reports for all adults entering guilty pleas or persons found guilty during trial, for misdemeanor and felony offenses. If a criminal offender is placed on probation as a sentence, of if the offender is sentenced to the county jail for a maximum sentence of less than two years, the Probation Department would supervise the offender's behavior in the community.
The Probation Department is also responsible for recommending whether an offender sentenced to county jail should be released on parole at the conclusion of the minimum sentence. The Probation Department also oversees the county jail's Work Release Program and Furlough Program. The Probation Department provides intake services to the Juvenile Court by processing juvenile offenders through the Court process, as well as supervising juvenile offenders ordered by the Court to a period of probation. The Probation Department also oversees the placement of delinquent offenders who have been removed from their homes and placed in a residential treatment center. Probation Officers are classified as law enforcement officers due to the powers of arrest they have over any offender court ordered under their supervision. Presently the Probation Office has 22 Staff Members.
Chief Probation Officer
Tom Schuster is a graduate of Sayre Area High School. He has a BA, Criminal Justice Administration from Mansfield University and a MS, Administration of Justice from Shippensburg University, with his post graduate work being completed at Shippensburg University and Walden University. Tom Schuster was hired in the probation office in 1980, he was appointed Chief Juvenile Probation Officer in 1981 and in 1985 the Adult and Juvenile Probation departments were combined and Tom became Chief Probation/Parole Officer. Tom is a part time Adjunct Faculty at Elmira College, Keystone College, Lackawanna College, Mansfield University, and Penn State University. Tom along with his wife and children enjoy living and working in Bradford County.