If one of these folks has helped you rebuild your life, this is the week to let them know. And feel free to share your stories here.
Over the years, I’ve volunteered in probation offices in both Indiana and Virginia, doing interviews and presentence reports, counseling and helping manage caseloads. In both places, I’ve been struck by the dedication these always overworked and typically underpaid professionals bring to their jobs. I know probation and parole officers are often viewed as one more legal hurdle by those convicted of crimes. Some of my students have talked about how they feel their P.O. is out to get them and eager to send them back to jail. But the P.O.’s I’ve worked with work hard to help their clients succeed, and see rearrest, or imprisonment as a last resort.
For more information, you can check out the American Probation and Parole Association website. There’s a lot of great info there on the history of probation, as well as the latest on what’s working in community supervision.