Cutting costs in America’s prisons is never a good idea! Here’s a satirical look at the private prison industry.
Let’s show our support for Teamsters Local 340 members in Maine. The Oxford County sheriffs’ deputies are holding an informational picket. They’ve been without a contract for 2 years. They’re fighting for a fair contract with good wages, and improved safety and backup.
The week of July 13th through the 19th is Probation, Parole and Community Supervision Week. It’s a time to recognize the correctional professionals who are responsible for supervising adult and juvenile offenders in the community. The duties of these men and women are essential to the criminal justice system and public safety, but there have been no presidential proclamations, ceremonies of note, or flag waving to honor these brave officers and personnel. They wear the forgotten badge.
After an offender is convicted, depending on the particular conditions of sentencing, a probation or parole officer is assigned for the purpose of supervising the offender’s conduct in society. According to the American Probation and Parole Association, 4,793,934 Americans are under the supervision of a community corrections program. The Minnesota Department of Corrections lists over 122,000 Minnesota offenders under community supervision. At the state level, 2,446 offenders are supervised for violent crime and 1,534 offenders are supervised for criminal sexual conduct.
Probation and parole officers supervise offenders through an array of methods in the form of home visits and searches, drug testing, counseling and coaching. When combative situations arise, probation and parole officers can use force to disarm or restrain an offender without relying on defense tools such as firearms or tasers. Safety is becoming an increasing concern as more Minnesota counties require probation and parole officers to wear bullet-resistant vests during contact with offenders.
Community supervision is a proven system that is less costly than incarceration as demonstrated by the continued decline in adult recidivism rates. Probation and parole officers should be treated with the same dignity and respect on the job and in retirement as other officers or personnel in law enforcement and corrections. For this week, let’s make a solid commitment to honor our probation and parole officers for the exceptional work they do for all of us every single day!
It’s a huge problem in the state’s largest jail in Hennepin County, where an estimated 25 to 30 percent of prisoners suffer from diagnosed and undiagnosed mental illness.
The Minnesota Legislature approved changes last year to the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) of Minnesota’s Police and Fire Plan.