Juvenile Probation

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Thomas O’neal,
Chief Probation Officer

813 Lincolnway, Suite 106
La Porte, IN 46350

Phone: (LP) 219-326-6808 Ext. 2455

Fax: 219-326-0220

Debra Ackerman,
Deputy Chief Probation Officer

300 Washington Street
Michigan City, IN 46360

Phone: (219)-874-5611 Ext. 7769 

Fax: 219-879-7842


It is the mission of the La Porte County Juvenile Probation Department to hold juvenile offenders accountable for their actions by providing meaningful consequences which restores the victim and rehabilitates the offender, to create methods and programs which reintegrates them into the community through the process of competency development and to provide the supervision necessary to protect the La Porte County Community.


  • To treat everyone we encounter in the workplace with dignity and fairness, respecting individual & cultural diversity
  • To develop and utilize evidence-based interventions to promote personal responsibility, social growth, and family stability
  • To maintain accountability by completing all duties in an accurate, timely, & professional manner
  • To foster an environment that values commitment, cooperation, integrity & teamwork
  • To partner with criminal justice agencies, community associations, academic institutions, & the general public to provide services aimed at enhancing community safety


The American Probation and Parole Association defined “community justice” as “a strategic method of crime reduction and prevention, which builds or enhances partnerships within communities” (2000).

  • LPCO Juvenile Probation employs the “Balanced Approach” and restorative justice practices in delivering probation services and accessing the continuum of community services available for individualized treatment of juvenile offenders.
  • This approach emphasizes the value of applying the principles of:
    1. Community safety
    2. Accountability
    3. Skill development along with individualized assessment and treatment through departmental and community resources.
  • Restorative Justice promotes those practices that maximize the collective involvement of victims, the community, and the juvenile in the justice process.

Individualizing our response to juvenile offenders and their families is an integral part of our mission.


  • Supervise and assist juvenile probationers consistent with court imposed probation conditions, including furnishing and explaining written statements of such conditions and monitoring probationers’ compliance
  • Conduct preliminary inquiry interviews and pre-dispositional investigations of individuals’ past criminal and social histories, verifying all information and preparing reports as required by law
  • Maintain accurate records of all cases investigated or assigned by the court, and furnish said records and reports to the court upon request
  • Assist the court, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials by making recommendations regarding the potential diversions of individuals charged with crimes to appropriate community alternatives
  • Recommend to the court modifications of conditions of probation upon noncompliance and recommend appropriate legal action
  • Assist individuals on probation to obtain needed services from appropriate public and or private agencies
  • Testify before the court regarding a probationers’ progress or lack thereof as required to do so
  • Periodically attends seminars, conferences and community service meetings to maintain awareness of new developments and techniques in the field
  • Periodically be on 24-hour call
  • Perform related duties as assigned

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