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Probation Can Be a Viable Alternative to Incarceration

Adam: It is reasonable. If you were presented the option with, “You can spend 12 months in prison behind bars, or you can spend two years on probation and see your probation officer once or twice a month,” who wouldn’t come in to their probation officer once and twice a month?

Why would you not do that? When they complain about, “I can’t come in. This is too hard.” The alternative is spending all your time behind bars. Seeing your probation officer for five minutes, once or twice a month is not a huge burden to ask.

Debunking the Misconception That Your Probation Officer Is “Out to Get You”: Your Probation Officer Can Enroll You in Treatment Programs and Serve as a Valuable Resource to Locate Assistance, Even for Help With Bill Payments

Interviewer: That’s true. Do the probation officers set up drug and alcohol counseling or does another department handle that separately?

Adam: Probation officers can set a probationer up with counseling and treatment programs.

Interviewer: Do probation officers perform that kind of counseling? Do you do psychological counseling for people?

Adam: Some probation officers do. My particular department refers them out to a licensed professional, but we can make all the arrangements for them. We can tell them where to go and make the referral and set it up for them, so they don’t have to worry about finding someone. We can put them in touch with the right people.

Interviewer: Have you had anyone turn to you as a resource saying, “Help me? Can you get me this? Can you get me that?”

Adam: Yes. It’s winter, so I’ll have someone come in and say, “I’m late on my bill. My heat’s been shut off and it’s winter. I don’t know what to do.”

I can give them a referral source, “This is who you need to talk to for help with your bill, and this is how you get your heat back on.” I can refer them to the people and agencies that do that.

By Adam Hunt

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