The District of Minnesota appointed its first Probation Officer on September 1, 1930. The size of the Probation and Pretrial Services Office changed gradually from 1 Officer in 1930 to a total of 6 Probation Officers in the District by 1970. By 1984, there were 14 officers and, over the next seven years, the Office experienced rapid growth, doubling in size to 28 Officers by 1991. By the end of 2009, there were 40 Officers and 24 support employees on Probation staff and 7 Officers and 5 support employees on Pretrial staff. By way of history, in January 1988, the District of Minnesota established a separate Pretrial Services Office. On July 9, 2009, as a result of a unanimous vote of the District of Minnesota Bench, it was determined that Pretrial Services would be merged into the Probation Office. On December 31, 2009, both offices began operations as one combined agency and currently there are 51 Officers and 27 support employees on staff.
The Probation and Pretrial Services Office serves the Judicial District of Minnesota, encompassing the entire state. The state of Minnesota covers 79,548 square miles; includes 87 counties; and has a population of approximately 4.95 million people.
The U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Office headquarters is located in the Federal Courthouse at 300 South Fourth Street in Minneapolis. A divisional office is located in the Warren Burger Federal Courthouse at 316 North Robert Street in St. Paul, a second divisional office is located in the Federal Courthouse at 515 West First Street in Duluth, a third divisional office is located in the Federal Courthouse at 118 South Mill Street in Fergus Falls, and a fourth divisional office is located in the Beltrami County Courthouse at 619 Beltrami Avenue in Bemidji.
Kevin Lowry was appointed Chief U.S. Probation Officer in July 2003. He is the seventh Chief to be appointed to the position since the Probation and Pretrial Services Office was established in Minnesota.