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General Laws

Section 98. There shall be an office of probation which shall be under the supervision, direction and control of a commissioner of probation. The commissioner shall be appointed, and may be removed, by the chief justice of the trial court and the court administrator, with the advice of the chief justice of the juvenile court, the chief justice of the superior court, the chief justice of the district court, the chief justice of the probate and family court and the chief justice of the Boston municipal court. The commissioner shall be a person of skill and experience in the field of criminal justice. The commissioner shall be the executive and administrative head of the office of probation and shall be responsible for administering and enforcing the laws relative to the office of probation and to each administrative unit tof the office. The commissioner shall serve a term of 5 years and may be reappointed. The commissioner shall receive such salary as may be determined by law and shall devote full time to the duties of the office. In the case of an absence or vacancy in the office of the commissioner, or in the case of disability as determined by the chief justice of the trial court, said chief justice may designate an acting commissioner to serve as commissioner until the vacancy is filled or the absence or disability ceases. The acting commissioner shall have all of the powers and duties of the commissioner and shall have similar qualifications as the commissioner.

Subject to the approval and consent of the court administrator, the commissioner may appoint such deputies, supervisors and assistants as may be necessary for the performance of the commissioner’s duties. The deputies, supervisors and assistants shall, subject to appropriation, receive salaries to be fixed by the court administrator. Subject to the approval and direction of the court administrator, the commissioner shall perform such duties and responsibilities as otherwise provided by law or as designated from time to time by the chief justice of the trial court and the court administrator. The commissioner shall make recommendations to the chief justice of the trial court and the court administrator on:

(i) the supervision and evaluation of all probation programs within the trial court;

(ii) the evaluation of the probation service in each court of the commonwealth;

(iii) the compilation, evaluation and dissemination of statistical information on crime, delinquency and appropriate probate and family court matters available in the commissioner’s records;

(iv) the recruitment, training and educational development of probation officers;

(v) the evaluation of the work performance of probation officers; and

(vi) planning, initiation and development of volunteer, diversion and other programs in consultation with probation officers throughout the commonwealth.

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