For immediate release: July 20, 2009
For more information contact:
Winnie Comfort or Tammy Kendig
New Jersey Judiciary Celebrates Probation Week
The New Jersey Judiciary salutes the 1,800 probation professionals whose work is essential to the effectiveness of the courts, Kevin M. Brown, assistant director of Probation Services, announced today. Brown made the announcement during National Probation, Parole and Community Supervision Week, which is July 19-25.
"Probation officers play an invaluable role in the justice system," said Brown. "Their work impacts thousands of New Jersey residents including not only the offenders themselves but also victims, families and communities. Probation officers should be recognized for their contributions, their dedication and their professionalism."
Probation professionals, which include intensive supervision staff, perform a wide variety of roles within the New Jersey Judiciary. Probation officers supervise adult or juvenile offenders and ensure their compliance with court-ordered conditions such as maintaining employment, attending school, adhering to curfews, attending substance abuse treatment programs, performing community service, and paying fines and restitution. Probation officers also foster the rehabilitation of non-violent offenders who have been accepted into the drug court program.
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 are overseen by probation officers. 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 our communities, often in the evening and on weekends to ensure that probationers comply with the conditions of supervision and receive the services they need to rehabilitate their lives. They are mentors, role models, and, in some cases, teachers.
"Probation officers are trained professionals," said Brown. "Like any professional, a good probation officer is always learning, always finding new tools to motivate clients to meet their obligations and to help clients learn from their past and move toward a more productive and rewarding future," said Brown. "It can be very rewarding, but also very demanding. It is fitting that we take time this week to thank our many probation professionals for their contributions."