Federal probation officers work in either a supervision or investigation capacity. Supervising probation officers oversee and monitor convicted persons who are under court order to comply with probationary or supervised release terms. Investigation officers perform pre-sentencing background checks and interview defendants who have pled guilty or been convicted.
The pre-sentence report is used by the sentencing judge to get more information regarding the defendant before sentencing. Probation officers are hired through the court system and answer to the federal district court judges.
The district court clerk’s office handles the filings and the administration of the paperwork. In the southern district of California, all filings are scanned into a computer system and are available for public viewing. Pretrial services is the agency responsible for monitoring defendants on bond. Courtroom security and pretrial detention are the responsibility of the United States marshal’s office.