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|January 12, 2006
Holland, Director of Communications
A Year in Review
The Massachusetts Probation Service's Top Ten Stories
Year 2005 was a year of firsts for the Massachusetts
Probation Service which introduced its Global Positioning
Satellite (GPS) System, a monitoring program for
sex offenders. It was also a year when probation
employees worked to enhance the lives of citizens
locally, nationally and globally.
of GPS (Global Positioning Satellite System) to track sex offenders.
Massachusetts Probation Service's GPS System was introduced in
May 2005. Probation became the sole monitoring agency for GPS in
the state for probationers and parolees. There are currently 88
probationers on the GPS system. Offenders are outfitted with an
ankle bracelet which transmits a signal to a cell phone and GPS
tracker on a belt. The GPS System is linked with the U.S. Defense
Department satellites which are orbiting 12,000 miles above the
earth. The devices send information on the offenders' whereabouts
every five minutes to Probation's Electronic Monitoring Center.
A judge determines who will be placed on the GPS System.
(Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) service and resources
Soldiers returning from combat in Iraq now
have Probation Officers to turn to if they become court-involved
and suffer with symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
(PTSD). The Massachusetts Probation Service created a new
informational resource to help Probation Officers address
the needs of court-involved veterans and soldiers. Most
Probation Departments throughout the state have a comprehensive
resource packet for Probation Officers who use this information
to help offenders suffering with PTSD. The packet includes
a list of Veteran’s Service Agents and Veteran Service
facilities such as hospitals and clinics as well as private
facilities where counseling is offered. The packet also
includes a number of clinical explanations, including a
description of PTSD symptoms: how they occur and are treated.
There is information on the effect of PTSD on the offender’s
family. A copy of a DVD, made available by the District
Attorney Bill Keating on the issue of Post Traumatic Stress,
is part of the packet.
Juvenile Probation Officers Participate in "Occupation" of
Neighborhood Marred by Crime.
Suffolk County Juvenile Probation Officers underscored the importance
of presence in the community when they joined a local clergyman, law
enforcement and community representatives who took over a neighborhood
that had been rocked by shootings and overrun by drug dealers. The week-long "occupation
and liberation" initiative was led by Reverend Bruce Wall, pastor
of the Global Ministries Church. Each night in early August, Probation
Officers patrolled the Lyndhurst Street area of Dorchester, the scene
of numerous shootings, and adjacent streets where they performed curfew
checks and informed residents of the various court services and community
programs offered by the court.
Probation Service Employees Assist with the New Orleans
From taking in a family of nine into their home to shoring up flood waters
with 2,000- pound sandbags to helping resettle hurricane victims, Probation
Employees came to the rescue of hundreds of New Orleans residents whose
lives were impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Bristol County Probate & Family
Court Chief Probation Officer James Casey opened his home to a family
of nine, including their 80-year-old matriarch as well as family pets.
Family members have found homes and jobs and plan to stay in the New
Bedford area. Hampden Superior Court Probation Officers Jason Harder
and Alberto Perez traveled to Louisiana to help bring medical services
and security to the devastated area. Harder, a medical technician in
the 104th Medical Group of the Air National Guard, worked at a 25-bed
hospital just outside of the center of New Orleans. He also joined an
Army Aviation Unit which ferried 2,000 pound sand bags, via helicopter,
to shore up damaged levees already destroyed by the first hurricane.
Perez, a chaplain in the Army National Guard, provided counseling and
support to hurricane victims and helped to stabilize the area during
District Court Chief Probation Officer Brings to Justice
Offender on Lam for 12 Years.
Springfield District Court Chief Probation Officer John Morganstern employed
his online detective skills to positively identify an offender who has
been on the lam for 12 years. Offender Jose Pagan, granted a two-week
stay by a Hampden Superior Court judge, skipped town in 1993 when he
received a three to five year state prison sentence for drug charges.
Employee Assists Massachusetts State Police in Apprehension
Donna Reed, Interstate Compact Coordinator for the Office of the Commissioner
of Probation, was honored by the Massachusetts State Police Violent Fugitive
Apprehension Section for assisting the group with locating fugitives,
absconders and teenage runaways. She also arranged for the safe return
of the teenage runaways to their homes in the Commonwealth.
Service Crews Help Create a New Ward for Women Veterans.
Offenders, assigned to a Massachusetts Trial Court Community Service
crew, renovated a wing in the Soldiers' Home to provide special
quarters for women veterans. The Soldiers' Home in Chelsea opened
an eight-bed ward to accommodate the rising number of female veterans.
Sex Offenders Targeted on Most Wanted List are Located.
Sex offenders, featured on the Most Wanted Lists of the Hampden Superior
Court and Franklin Superior Court Probation Departments, were captured
within days after Probation released a "Most Wanted" listing.
Probation Officers Address Truancy.
Juvenile Court Probation Officers helped educators address truancy problems
in schools statewide by maintaining a presence in school corridors and
setting up offices at public schools throughout the state. Probation
Officers in Massachusetts worked closely with the 26,119 children currently
under probation supervision and/or who are court-involved in the 14 counties
throughout the state.
Chief Probation Officer Teaches Massachusetts Probation
Concept and Mediation in Ethiopia.
Lourenco "Larry" Lopes of the Fall River District Court began
2005 in Ethiopia where he conducted training on probation and mediation
for attorneys in the East African country. Lopes trained 30 Ethiopian
attorneys at the Ethiopian Arbitration Conciliation Centre (EACC) in
Addis Ababa, one of two arbitration facilities in the country.