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Probation Officers and a Probation Sentence

| Jun 1, 2013 | Probation |

Probation is a system in all Colorado jurisdictions where people convicted of a crime are supervised by a probation officer, under terms and conditions ordered by a judge.  The officer is required to ensure that a probationer receives treatment, pays his court costs, and stays employed in Jefferson, Weld and Arapahoe County.  The bottom line is that the court and the officer try and indentify what was broken about the defendant which caused him to commit a crime and fix it.

While most probation officers do a fine job, I’m concerned by the growing number of them who use their job to meet their personal needs.  I see these court employees harshly treating our clients.  They place unreasonable restrictions on the defendants like no contact with kids, curfews, and a requirement that employers be informed of the underlying offense.  It is a miracle some of these defendants can keep their jobs in Denver, Douglas and Adams County.

I’ve also seen an increase in CYA behavior, with probation officers concerned with their jobs.  They feel that if they have not treated a defendant harshly, and they reoffend, the officer will be blamed for not being tough enough.  Particularly with sex offenders, officers are merciless.  As long as the officer can come up with some “safety” justification, judges will let them order just about anything.

I understand the need to protect the public.  But, it is short sited to treat a person so harshly that they cannot complete treatment, keep their job or see their children.  These all have hidden costs to society.  Once released from jail or prison following a Probation Revocation hearing, the defendant is back on the street without treatment. Or, their children grow up without a father and later enter a life of crime.  Government workers seem incapable of thinking further down the line than the immediate situation before them.

We understand the implications of a probation sentence and generally officers will be reasonable.  If you are facing a criminal offense and hoping for a probationary sentence or have a revocation case, call our attorneys at 303-731-0719 today.  Together, we can protect your future.