Since Sunday, communities across North America have been observing Pretrial, Probation and Parole Supervision Week, which runs until Saturday, July 27.
“You have the ability to Change Lives and help give others the ability to create a bright Future,” states the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) on their Pretrial, Probation and Parole Supervision Week website . “The work of pretrial, probation and parole is not easy and it may be hard to stay positive in such a stressful profession, but thousands of you, every day, do just that… APPA hopes you take some time now and especially during the week of July 21-27 to feel proud of the profession you’ve chosen and celebrate your accomplishments.”
Let’s look at some facts and figures about these important criminal justice professionals:
- According to the APPA, probation began in 1841 in the United States with John Augustus, a shoemaker. Augustus convinced a Boston judge to release a man, charged with public drunkenness, into his custody. Augustus is known as the “Father of Probation.”
- The United States was inspired by Ireland’s parole system, initiated by Sir Walton Crofton. “Zebulon Brockway, a Michigan penologist, is given credit for implementing the first parole system in the U.S.,” states the APPA. “…He was given a chance to put his proposal into practice in 1876 when he was appointed superintendent at a new youth reformatory, the Elmira Reformatory in New York. He instituted a system of indeterminacy and parole release, and is commonly credited as the father of both in the United States.”
- There are approximately 300 jurisdictions that have pretrial service programs in the U.S. “Pretrial services programs have the unique responsibility to supervise individuals involved in the criminal justice system prior to adjudication,” states the APPA.
- According to the APPA, pretrial officers oversee thousands of individuals; and probation and parole officers supervise more than five million adults and more than 670,000 youth/juveniles.
- According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, by the end of 2007, 70% of adults under correctional supervision were either on parole or probation (30% were in jails, prisons and other correctional facilities).
We want to wish all community corrections personnel a very Happy Pretrial, Probation and Parole Supervision Week! Your work is truly inspirational.