How to Find Someone's Probation Officer

Two Parts:Identifying the Person on ProbationFinding the Probation Officer

Criminal records and probation information are public record in most states. Therefore, you have every right to know the name of—and how to contact—someone’s probation officer. You could ask the individual directly for the name of their probation officer, but in some cases that may not be possible or a wise choice. We'll show you how to accomplish this without the person’s input.

Part 1
Identifying the Person on Probation

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    Confirm the full name of the person on probation. The guy you know as Bubba Jones may actually be named John Smith III. Many people use nicknames or aliases in daily life, sometimes even just their middle name instead of their given first name.
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    Determine that the individual isn't in prison. Sometimes people bounce back and forth between prison and probation. In most states, you can check by visiting the Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) website.
    • Click on the state where the offender is located.
    • You can search using either the offender's ID or his name.
    • Using VINE is a good way to keep tabs on anyone you are worried about. You will know when he has been released back into the population.
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    Note distinctive features. Even if you do not know the person’s name or alias, you can identify someone through physical details, such as distinctive tattoos. Corrections departments keep descriptions and aliases of their guests on file, and they can help you make the right identification.
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    Search sex offender registries. Each state has a sex offender registry. Searching the registry will tell you where the person lives.
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    Get the probationer’s email address. This may be available on social media websites such as Facebook or Twitter. After you locate the email address, you can do a reverse email look-up.
    • There are several reverse look-up search engines. Popular ones include Verispy, Spokeo, and Intelligator.
    • These search engines are rarely free. Currently, Spokeo costs a few dollars a month for a subscription.
    • You can also do a reverse look-up if you know the person's home address or telephone number.
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    Determine the probationer's location. Find out in which county and state the person has probation. This will generally be the county where he lives. Probation departments are organized by jurisdiction.

Part 2
Finding the Probation Officer

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    Determine if the probationer committed a state or federal offense. If he committed a federal crime, then he would have a federal probation officer.
    • If you don’t know, ask around to find out what the offense was.
    • Generally, crimes like murder and rape are state offenses. Bank robbery or drug trafficking are typically federal offenses.
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    Contact the appropriate probation department. If the probationer is serving probation for a federal offense, then you should contact the federal probation office.
    • Visit the federal courts website and click on the “court locator” link at the top of the page. Under “advanced search,” type in the city in which the probationer lives.
    • Then click on the link for the "Probation Office." You can call the phone number listed.
    • If the probationer is serving for a state offense, contact the probation department for the county where the person lives. You can find this information in the phone book, with an internet search, or at the web page for the county in question.
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    Request to speak with somebody's probation officer. That person will direct you to the staff member best able to help you identify which officer you should speak to.
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    Share the information you have. If you know the probationer's name, this will be simple and straightforward. If you don't, the person on the phone will have received specific training for helping you make an identification.
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    Contact the probation officer. You will either be transferred to, or given the name of, the appropriate probation officer. You can call yourself or request to be transferred.


  • Some state or county Corrections Departments have automated lookups for people currently on probation. You can find these on the website for the department in question. In many cases, you can scroll through the people on the books until you find the probationer.


  • Although probation departments are good at preserving witness safety, you may not want to ask too many questions around the friends and workplace of the person about whom you're concerned. Not all probationers are dangerous, but some are violent.

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Criminal and Penal Law Procedure