Fifth Judicial District - Department of Correctional Services

Minimum Unit- Staff Information


Minimum Unit Packet

What is the Minimum Unit?

The offenders in the Minimum unit meet with the Probation Parole Officers every six months with monthly reports submitted in the interim months. This is NOT informal probation, it is formal probation. You are assigned to this unit because an assessment has screened you as "low risk", likely due to no or little criminal history, stable address, etc.

How do I stay in this unit?

You must show progress at every appointment. Your court-ordered requirements do not necessarily have to be completed (unless discharge date is approaching), but you must show that you are working towards them. Working towards your financial obligation implies you make at least a minimal payment every month. Working towards required activities (treatment, community service, etc.) implies monthly efforts to complete requirements. If you are reassessed for a higher level of supervision, you will be assigned to a different Probation Officer and will be required to report anywhere from once a month to once a day.

How do appointments work?

Regular appointments are scheduled the first two weeks of every month at either 8 am or 1 pm. There are NO appointments scheduled at other times or on Fridays. There are 10-15 people scheduled at each time slot. Numbers are taken in the order you report to the front window so the earlier you arrive, the lower number you get and the sooner you are seen. You will be seen by both Probation Parole Officers who will verify your address, employment, and check your progress towards your court-ordered conditions. Appointments, other than make-up or intakes, are typically set six months out so there is plenty of time to arrange for transportation, childcare, etc. Please do not bring children to your appointments as the Sex Offender Unit is also in this building. Do not bring any weapons or knives into the building; anyone coming in is subject to search at any time.

What happens if I miss an appointment?

Don't miss! If you miss an appointment, call right away to reschedule. The first time you miss an appointment a letter will be sent to you with another appointment date/time. If you miss the 2nd appointment a Report of Violations may be filed and a warrant could be issued for your arrest.

How do I contact my Probation Parole Officer?

There are over 1000 people in this unit so please be patient with us. E-mail is the preferred method of contacting us as you will likely receive a quicker response. You may call any of us but please do not leave a message fas this ties up the voicemail. Just keep calling until you reach us in person. If you are still having problems getting through (calling unsuccessfully for 3 work days), stop in the office.

What about my court-ordered conditions?

You are required to submit verification to your PO of completion of any court-ordered conditions. For example, if you are ordered to obtain a substance abuse evaluation and comply with treatment, you must begin treatment immediately. Request from your treatment provider that a discharge summary be sent to your PO when you have completed treatment. Be sure to sign a Release of Information with your treatment provider. If you are required to do a class, you may request that verification of the class be sent to your Probation Parole Officer. It is, however, your responsibility to make sure that your PO receives verification.

How do I pay my supervision fee?

Everyone who is sentenced to probation is required to pay a supervision fee. You can either make payments at the front window at the Probation office or send in payments with your monthly reports. Checks, money orders, credit cards are preferred, but cash is accepted. DO NOT send cash. Cash payment must be made in person. Make the check or money order to Fifth Judicial District. It is expected that you will make at least a minimal payment every month.

How do I pay my fines, victim restitution, etc.?

You must send Payments to the Clerk of Court of the county that you were sentenced in. (See the county list below) Put your case number on your payment. You may also make payments online at You must make payments every month even if it's only a minimal payment. If there is victim restitution a Plan of Payment will be required.

Monthly Reports

The Monthly Reports are to be turned in on the months that you don't come in to see your PO. Monthly Reports are due by the 10th of each month. You can e-mail, fax, mail, or drop off your monthly report at the 1st floor Secretary´s office. An additional way to send in your monthly report is via the website, Click on your PO's name & fill out report form. At the bottom of the page is a submit button. If you lose your monthly report´s, there are more available at the same office or online at We DO NOT mail out monthly report´s if you lose them. It is your responsibility to make sure you fill them out and send them in on time. When filling in your reports, print legibly. In addition, make sure you have your ICON number on your monthly report.

Can I travel?

Travel within the state of Iowa does not require a travel permit. Travel outside the state requires a written travel permit. Travel outside the United States requires a travel permit signed by a Judge. Parolees are not allowed to travel outside the United States. Unless travel is employment-related you must have your supervision fee paid in full before you can get a travel permit. Contact your Probation Parole Officer at least 7 days before you are traveling (email is best). A travel permit requires the destination name, address, phone number, who you are going with, when you are leaving and returning, the purpose of the travel, vehicle information (year, make, model, color, license plate number) or flight information.

How can I discharge early?

Probationers: You are eligible for early discharge when at least 1/2 of your probation period has been completed, all court-ordered requirements are completed, and financial obligations are paid in full. Exceptions to this may include assaultive offenses or your court order says differently. For example, if you are sentenced to one year probation, you must complete six months. If you are sentenced to two years, you must complete one year. However, if your court order specifies no early discharge, that will be followed. Parolees: You must have completed 2 years of parole. Interstate Compact: Early discharge is at the discretion of the sending state.

What if I am arrested on a new charge or have contact with Law Enforcement?

You must contact your Probation Parole Officer within 24 hours of arrest. These will be handled case by case.

What if I don't complete my court-ordered requirements within my probation term?

Some charges are eligible for an extension of probation. Misdemeanors may be extended to a maximum of two years and felonies may be extended to a maximum of five years. If not eligible for an extension, a Report of Violations will be filed with the court.

How does a Report of Violations work?

Your Probation Officer will research and write a Report of Violation and send it to the court requesting either a hearing or a warrant. Warrants will be issued if your whereabouts are unknown. A Probation Hearing will be set and you will receive notice in the mail. If your charge is a Felony, your Probation Officer will attend your hearing. If it is a misdemeanor, another P.O. will attend your hearing. You must attend this hearing. It will be up to the Judge to determine whether violations exist and determine appropriate sanctions.

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