Advisory Concerning Salary Schedule Compliance
The Indiana Office of Court Services (IOCS) routinely receives questions from probation personnel and county officials concerning compliance with the Probation Officers Salary Schedule. This advisory is meant to provide answers to some of these questions.
The 2003 General Assembly made some significant changes in how probation officer salaries are set. Under SEA 506, the legislature requires that the salary of a probation officer shall be fixed by the county, city or town fiscal body in accordance with the salary schedule adopted by the fiscal body under Indiana Code 36-2-16.5 (Please note that Indiana Code 36-2-16.5 applies to all counties, cities and towns that employ probation officers.). The fiscal body is required to consult with at least one judge of a court authorized to impose probation and at least one probation officer in adopting the salary schedule. The fiscal body must comply with the Judicial Conference of Indiana's minimum requirements for probation officer salaries under Indiana Code 11-13-1-8.
Because the statute requires local fiscal bodies to comply with the salary schedule set by the Judicial Conference, failure to comply with the schedule would be a violation of Indiana law. Such violations could subject the local fiscal body to mandate actions, lawsuits for back pay, and if the violations are willful, possible punitive damages. In addition, the salary schedule prohibits probation departments from sending new probation officers to the required orientation if the department is not in compliance with the minimum salary levels, effectively denying certification for new officers.
SEA 506 created an administrative fee for offenders sentenced to probation. Under Section 16 of SEA 506, a non-code section, the purpose of the administrative fees is to pay for salary increases required under the probation officer salary schedule. Any fees collected in excess of the amount required for the salary increases may be used in a manner permitted by the user fee statutes. As such, the local fiscal body must initially use the administrative fees received for salary increases each calendar year.
If you have any questions regarding the salary schedule, please contact IOCS.