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For immediate release: July 19, 2007
For further information contact: Winnie Comfort or Tammy Kendig

New Jersey Judiciary Celebrates Probation Week

This week, during National Probation, Parole and Community Supervision Week, the New Jersey Judiciary recognizes the contributions of the probation professionals who make a difference in the lives of thousands of New Jersey citizens every day.

"Our probation professionals serve our communities by reintegrating adult and juvenile offenders into society equipped with the tools they need to become productive and successful citizens," said Robert Sebastian, assistant director of Probation Services. "We congratulate our probation officers for their successes in turning lives around and we applaud their efforts and commitment to this profession," he added.

Probation professionals fill a wide variety of roles in the New Jersey Judiciary. Many of them supervise adult or juvenile offenders and ensure their compliance with court-ordered conditions such as finding and keeping jobs, attending school, adhering to curfews, attending substance abuse treatment programs, and paying fines and restitution. Other probation officers work in the criminal courts, conducting investigations on convicted offenders and providing information to judges before sentencing. Family courts also rely on probation officers, who research domestic violence cases and make risk assessments of alleged batterers; conduct investigations in child custody disputes; and devise rehabilitation plans for juvenile offenders. Child support collections also are overseen by the Office of Probation. In all of these roles, probation professionals are responsible for resolving conflicts and helping clients while at the same time protecting the community.

Probation officers work with many organizations in the community to provide assistance to probationers in need of education, job training, counseling, addiction recovery services, and both physical and emotional health. They work in the field and outside of regular hours to ensure that probationers are complying with the conditions of supervision and receiving the services they need to rehabilitate their lives. They are mentors, role models, and, in some cases, teachers.

To be a probation officer requires exceptional observation, investigation and listening skills. Probation officers must gather and analyze information and involve themselves deeply in the lives of their clients. They must build relationships with communities and organizations, offer advice, motivate others, and, above all, commit themselves to changing lives.

To know more about the services provided by the Judiciary's Office of Probation Services, or to learn about career opportunities in this area, visit njcourtsonline.com.

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