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|June 25, 2012
Director of Communications
Massachusetts Probation Service Highlights Community Partnerships
to Mark Probation, Parole and Community Supervision Week in July
Next month, the Massachusetts Probation Service will join Probation, Parole, and Community Supervision agencies from across the nation and Canada in observing Probation, Parole, and Community Supervision Week from July 15th to 21st. The agency celebrates its history as the first Probation agency in the nation, current innovative programs as well as its plans for the future with the theme “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.”
Under the leadership of Acting Probation Commissioner Ronald Corbett, Massachusetts Probation is using this milestone to celebrate its best practices initiatives, and its partnerships with law enforcement and community agencies locally and nationally. There will also be a special focus on the role of Probate & Family Court Probation Officers who conduct dispute interventions, investigations, and supervise litigants.
“The committed men and women of the Massachusetts Probation Service collaborate every day with a wide range of rehabilitative and public safety agencies statewide,” said Corbett. “The agency’s long heritage of innovation continually inspires Probation staff to improve practices and identify new programs that assist local communities in addressing criminal justice and public safety issues in these challenging times.”
On any night of the week, Probation Officers can be found in the community checking on offenders in their homes, enforcing court orders, and ultimately holding offenders accountable. In Massachusetts, 82,532 individuals are under Probation supervision. They are supervised by 848 line Probation Officers in more than 100 courts across the state. Additionally, at the state’s 21 Community Corrections Centers offenders can earn their GED’s, participate in job training, and receive drug and alcohol counseling.
In addition to resources provided by the courts, Probation Officers have created programs to promote law-abiding behavior among offenders. Parenting Programs, such as the Fatherhood and Mothers Programs, which teach offenders good parenting skills; and Changing Lives through Literature, which introduces offenders to literature and poetry. There are also the Drug Courts, Mental Health Courts, and the first ever Homeless Court which are only a few examples of initiatives designed, implemented, and or coordinated by Probation Officers, based on the needs of offenders and local communities.
Probationers, ordered to do community service in lieu of court costs, performed a total of 449,133 hours over the past year. Offenders across the state work at food pantries where they have helped distribute several tons of food to struggling families. Probationers have played a pivotal role in the clean-up of the aftermath of a devastating tornado that hit western Massachusetts. Offenders have assisted in the construction, remodeling, and painting of non-profit organizations such as churches and synagogues, as well as senior citizen centers.