Probation and parole officers in the Donaldsonville District office joined others in their profession from across the country to observe Probation, Parole and Community Supervision Week, held July 18 to July 24.
At the Donaldsonville office, the officers reaffirmed their oaths during a July 21 ceremony before 23rd Juridical District Court Judge Thomas Kliebert.
The Donaldsonville District Office is responsible for supervising 2,200 adult offenders living in Ascension, Assumption, St. James and St. John the Baptist parishes. The 26-member staff works with those offenders towards the re-entry and community supervision goals set by the Louisiana Department of Corrections, Anthony “Tony” Simon, probation and parole district administrator, said.
“Since 1841, the practice of probation and parole has played a vital role in our justice system,” he said. “These professionals are a critical part of the public safety system.”
Today in the U.S., there are more than 5 million adults on community supervision and most of these individuals are monitored by probation and parole officers, he said. Monitoring may take the form of home contacts, drug testing, making sure the offender attends counseling sessions and helping offenders to find suitable housing and employment, he said.
Many officers also supervise offenders using electronic monitoring equipment which requires expert knowledge of newer technologies, Simon said.
“These professionals are a force for positive change by assisting juvenile and adult offenders to become productive members of society,” Simon said. “One day they may play the part of a counselor, the next they are enforcing the rules of an offender’s supervision.
“They may help a single mother find daycare or a job in order to abide by the conditions of her supervision,” he added. “They are problem solvers, crime prevention specialists, motivators, educators, facilitators and often times they are the only support system an offender may have.”