Hillary Barrett, Chief Probation Officer
125 N Plum
Havana IL 62644
Phone: 309-543-3293, option 5
FAX: 309-543-4403

Open Mon-Fri 8am-12pm and 1pm-4pm

Frequenty Answered Questions

Q.  Is probation the same as parole?
A.  Unlike parole, which supervises offenders after their release from incarceration, probation is itself a sentence. It is one of several sentencing options available to judges. In Illinois, probation and parole operate independently. The parole department is under the direction of the state and probation agencies are under the direction of the various circuit courts throughout the state.

Q.  Is there only one type of probation supervision?
A.  Conditions and strategies of supervision can vary a great deal and can be tailored to meet the unique risks and needs of individuals and of specific offender populations. The Mason County Probation Department employs different levels of supervision and operates programs designed for specific offender populations including Informal Supervision, Reporting Court Supervision, Standard Probation Supervision, and Drug Court Probation.

Q.  What should I do if I missed an appointment with my probation officer or if I miss a court appearance? 
A.  Failure to attend a scheduled appointment is a violation of Probation.  If you do miss an appointment, you should immediately call your probation officer to reschedule. If you miss a court appearance, contact the Clerk of the Circuit Court. You will then be instructed on the best way to proceed in bring your case back before the court.

Q.  What happens if an offender doesn’t follow his or her court order?
A.  If an offender does not comply with the conditions of the court order and the requirements of the Probation Department, violations are reported to the State’s Attorney.  The State’s Attorney has the discretion to file a Petition to Revoke Probation. If a hearing determines that the offender is indeed in violation, Probation can be revoked, and the defendant can be resentenced on the original offense. 

Q.  If I change my address while under the authority of the Mason County Probation Department, am I required to notify the department?
A.  Yes, regardless of the type of sentence you are serving, you must contact the Probation Department immediately. Failure to do so is a violation and may be reported as such. It is also a good idea to contact the Clerk of the Circuit Court so that you do not miss a court date. 

Q.  If I get arrested on a new offense or receive a traffic ticket, what will happen?
A.  The first thing you need to do is contact your probation officer to inform them of your recent arrest or ticket. If you choose not to tell your probation officer, they will become aware of your new arrest within a short period of time as they conduct regular arrest checks on all probationers. It is in your best interest to contact your probation officer as soon as possible. Your probation officer will then prepare notification to the court based on the circumstances of your arrest.

Q.  How do I find out information about someone on probation?
A.  Calling the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Mason County will allow you access to any information that is considered public record.  The Probation Department is unable to release any department information based on ILCS 110/12 (4) “ To preserve complete and accurate records of cases investigated, including a description of the person investigated, the action of the court with respect to his cases and his probation, the subsequent history of such person, if he becomes a probationer, during the continuance of his probation, which records shall be open to inspection by any judge or any other probation officers pursuant to order of court, but shall not be a public record, and its contents shall not be divulged otherwise than as above provided, except upon order of court.”

Q.  May I travel while I am on probation?
A.  Before you make any travel arrangements to travel outside of the State of Illinois, you will need to obtain permission from your probation officer.  You will need to provide information as to where you are planning to travel, the dates of travel, where you will be staying, and the reason why you wish to travel. The officer will make a determination regarding your travel plans, taking into consideration your compliance with Probation, including payment on fines and fees.