September 2000

First-Ever Probation/Parole Officers’ Week Observed

All across the state, officers were recognized for their hard work after Governor Jim Hunt declared July 23-29 "N.C. Probation, Parole and Community Corrections Officers’ Week." The American Probation and Parole Association initiated the first-time proclamation in an effort to honor the field officers who work one-on-one with the offenders who work and live in our communities.

Each judicial district had its own way of saying thanks to the officers. Some scheduled breakfasts or luncheons, held ice cream parties or brought in doughnuts and coffee. John Daniel, intensive case officer in High Point, called WIST radio station to get the word out about the special week. Before Daniel knew it, he was on the air cracking jokes with the disc jockey. The disc jockey told his listeners how important the officers’ jobs are and how people in the community should say thank you. The radio station also ran a public service announcement with Daniel explaining the Governor’s proclamation. "The system cannot function without us and it’s a real shame we’re often forgotten," said Daniel.

Nearly 2,000 community corrections officers supervise approximately 112,000 offenders on probation or parole throughout the state. They utilize and make referrals to community resources to assist offenders in getting the services they need. They also develop and maintain partnerships with other community and law enforcement agencies and coordinate efforts with victim service programs.

"The responsibility involved in supervising criminal offenders in the community is a significant undertaking and one that often goes unrecognized," stated Robert Lee Guy, director of the Division of Community Corrections. "The Division is continuously working to identify, choose and modify appropriate interventions and strategies that will be successful in the supervision of offenders and the protection of communities."

The Division of Community Corrections utilizes random drug testing, electronic monitoring, curfews, employment site visits, substance abuse treatment, home visits, counseling services and many other resources to supervise and structure the time of offenders. In addition, the division is involved in many special initiatives, which offer control, accountability and intense supervision to offenders. These initiatives include community policing, sex offender control program, school partnership program, domestic abuse control program, substance abuse screening program, victim services program and the criminal justice partnership program.

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