Probation User Fees can be paid by the following methods:
- Payments can now be made in both the LaPorte and Michigan City Probation Offices.
- Probation User Fees can be paid by credit card through Govpaynet at https://www.govpaynet.com/why/why-govpaynet.php. Phone Payments: 888-604-7888. LAPORTE COUNTY ADULT PROBATION PLC #2314. GovPayNet accepts the major credit, debit, or prepaid debit cards, including Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit Cards. GovPayNet charges a non-refundable fee for its services listed above.
- Payments can be mailed to LaPorte County Adult Probation Office; we only accept cashier checks or money orders. Mailing addresses are:
- 809 State St., Suite 101, LaPorte, IN 46350
- 300 Washington St., Suite 222, Michigan City, IN 46360
- Payments can be made in the dropbox locations outside of the LaPorte Courthouse and the Michigan City Temporary Courthouse. Please be sure to write your name and “For Probation Fees” on the outside of the envelope. You can use your own envelope or one provided at the box. You can pay with cash, money order or cashier check.
John Augustus, the “Father of Probation,” is recognized as the first true probation officer. Augustus was born in Woburn, Massachusetts in 1785. By 1829, he was a permanent resident of Boston and the owner of a successful boot-making business. It was undoubtedly his membership in the Washington Total Abstinence Society that led him to the Boston courts. Washingtonians abstained from alcohol themselves and were convinced that abusers of alcohol could be rehabilitated through understanding, kindness, and sustained moral suasion, rather than through conviction and jail sentences.
In 1841, John Augustus attended police court to bail out a “common drunkard,” the first probationer. The offender was ordered to appear in court three weeks later for sentencing. He returned to court a sober man, accompanied by Augustus. To the astonishment of all in attendance, his appearance and demeanor had dramatically changed.
Augustus thus began an 18-year career as a volunteer probation officer. Not all of the offenders helped by Augustus were alcohol abusers, nor were all prospective probationers taken under his wing. Close attention was paid to evaluating whether or not a candidate would likely prove to be a successful subject for probation. The offender’s character, age, and the people, places, and things apt to influence him or her were all considered.
Augustus was subsequently credited with founding the investigations process, one of three main concepts of modern probation, the other two being intake and supervision. Augustus, who kept detailed notes on his activities, was also the first to apply the term “probation” to his method of treating offenders.
By 1858, John Augustus had provided bail for 1,946 men and women. Reportedly, only 10 of this number forfeited their bond, a remarkable accomplishment when measured against any standard. His reformer’s zeal and dogged persistence won him the opposition of certain segments of Boston society as well as the devotion and aid of many Boston philanthropists and organizations. The first probation statute, enacted in Massachusetts shortly after this death in 1859, was widely attributed to his efforts.