Adult Probation and Parole has had a long history in Lancaster County. By order of President Judge Benjamin Atlee of the Lancaster Court of Common Pleas, the Adult Probation Department was created in 1933. President Judge Atlee appointed Edgar R. Barnes, Mary R. Bowman, MD., and Beatrice Pollack as the first probation officers in Lancaster County. At the time, the Adult Probation Department supervised all probation cases, including adult, juvenile and domestic relations. In 1945, Barnes was appointed Chief Probation Officer and served as such until 1961 when he retired. E. Jane Crowell succeeded Barnes as Chief Probation Officer until 1977 when President Judge W. Hensel Brown ordered that the Adult and Juvenile components be separated. Ms. Crowell was named Chief Adult Probation Officer and served as such until 1979 when she retired and James Turnbull was named as her successor.
In 2000, the adult probation and parole system in Lancaster County underwent significant structural changes under the direction of the Honorable Michael A. Georgelis, President Judge. The judicial directive initiated the unification of the existing four adult probation and parole programs.
In 2012, the agency underwent a department wide restructure by creating two offices, the Office of Supervision Services and the Office of Administrative Services in an effort to centralize and utilize agency resources more effectively.
The Director of Adult Probation and Parole Services reports to the District Court Administrator.