U.S. Probation and Pretrial services officers are considered the "eyes and ears" of the federal courts and investigate and supervise persons charged with or convicted of federal crimes. Officers tasks include:
- gather and verify information about persons who come before the courts.
- prepare reports that the courts rely on to make release and sentencing decisions.
- supervise persons released to the community by the courts and paroling authorities.
- direct persons under supervision to services to help them stay on the right side of the law, including substance abuse treatment, mental
health treatment, medical care, training, and employment assistance.
Like their colleagues in state/local levels of government, federal probation officers learn about their duties and how to carry them out through on-the-job training in their districts. However, federal probation officers also receive national training. Officers receive training on their core responsibilities and on firearms and safety at a national new officer training program held at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Charleston, South Carolina. They also benefit from training offered by the Federal Judicial Center, which develops education and training programs for all federal court employees.