|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
||For More Information, Contact:
|July 27, 2006
||Coria Holland, Director of Communications
||617-727-5300, ext. 258
PROBATION SERVICE CELEBRATES
NATIONAL PROBATION SUPERVISION MONTH
The Massachusetts Probation Service has joined
Probation Officers across the nation and internationally
in celebrating our profession and the impact we have in
the community and the courts. The celebration, set by the
American Probation and Parole Association (APPA), takes
place this month. The 2006 theme is “Safety, Solutions,
Massachusetts is the birthplace of Probation.
In 1841, a Boston cobbler named John Augustus convinced
the Boston Police Court to release a drunkard into his
custody instead of sending him to prison. Because of Augustus’ success
with helping the man turn his life around, he was able
to convince the court to release others into his custody.
Augustus later began taking in troubled children. In 1878,
Massachusetts passed the first probation statute which
put into place an official state probation system.
Today, there are nearly 250,000 residents
who are under probation supervision in Massachusetts, according
to statistics provided by the Research Department at the
Office of the Commissioner of Probation.
Of the 244,995 individuals under supervision
in the Commonwealth, there are 205,379 adults and 39,616
juveniles under watch by Probation Officers. Seventy-six
percent of offenders are on probation for committing a
criminal or delinquent offense. There are 28,021 adult
women and 136,807 adult men on probation in Massachusetts.
Probation Officers supervise offenders through visits to
their homes and by enforcing the orders of the court. It
is also the Probation Officer’s job to determine
an offender’s need for services such as substance
The typical profile of an adult probationer
is a 31- year-old man who is on maximum supervision, according
to information kept by the Research Department. An offender
on maximum supervision receives regular home visits from
their probation officer and may be required to report to
the probation officer at the court. In cases where substance
abuse is a problem, the offender may be ordered to submit
to regular drug and alcohol testing and may be required
to attend substance abuse counseling.
Eighty-two percent of male probationers were
younger than 24 when they committed their first offense.
Of the male probation population, 86 percent have a substance
Of the female probation population, 77.3
percent of women offenders are under maximum supervision.
Seventy percent of the female probationers had a prior
record within the past five years and 66 percent were younger
than 24 at the time of their first offense. Eighty-two
percent of women offenders suffer with substance abuse