More Information, Contact:
|June 14 , 2004
Holland, Director of Communications
GET WAKE UP CALL FROM PROBATION OFFICERS THROUGH "OPERATION
A group of probationers, some with gang affiliations
and/or identified as "High Impact" players by local law
enforcement, are receiving an unannounced wake-up call
from Dorchester District Court Probation Officers as
part of "Operation Alarm Clock," a brand
new initiative to crack down on crime at night and rouse
offenders out of bed in the morning and into the working
"Many of these individuals are out late at
night and nothing good usually happens late at night with
these guys. They are not working, not in school and they
are not showing up for their community service assignments," said
Tony Gully, Assistant Chief Probation Officer. "We decided
that these individuals need to get up and get in tune with
the rest of the world."
Three to five times a week, Gully and a team
of Probation Officers do what are called "forceful contacts" with
the probationers. The Probation Officers show up unannounced
or call the offender on the phone to make sure the individual
is attending school, looking for work and/or showing up
for community service work ordered by the court. Probation
Officers come armed with packets of information on job
leads and resource information from job training agencies. "Operation
Alarm Clock" was launched in May.
The Probation Officers are focusing on a
group of about 600 Youthful Offenders, ages 17 to 23, in
the Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan neighborhoods that
comprise the court's jurisdiction.
Of the 600 Youthful Offenders, 315 are currently
being supervised by a Probation Officer in the community.
Approximately 238 or 76 percent of the offenders are being
supervised at the maximum level by Probation Officers.
Between 15 and 18 percent represent re-entry cases which
means the probationers have spent time in jail and were
released into the community and placed under the supervision
of probation officers. The Dorchester District Court Youthful
Offender Unit, comprised of six probation officers, has
averaged 11 newly-assigned cases weekly since January 2004,
according to Gully. The probationers' offenses range from
assault and battery to gun and ammunition to larceny and
Gully said he gets full cooperation from
the families of this group of mostly young men. "We have
mothers and grandmothers leading us to their rooms or calling
us up. These are young men that they have lost control
of a long time ago." He added, " We are able to survey
the bedrooms and this helps in the long run. It helps us
identify any weapons."
The Massachusetts Probation Service is a
department of the Massachusetts Trial Court. There are
12 Superior Court, 63 District Court, eight Boston Municipal
Court, and 12 Probate and Family Court probation departments
throughout the Commonwealth. Probation's Juvenile Court
System includes 11 divisions which represent every county
in the state. There are 21 Community Corrections Centers
throughout the state.