Idaho observes Probation, Parole and Community Supervision Week
BOISE, July 15, 2011 – During the week of July 17-23rd, 2011, Idaho and the rest of the United States and Canada will salute probation and parole officers and other community corrections professionals.
“Idaho’s community corrections professionals are unsung heroes,” said Henry Atencio, deputy chief of the Idaho Department of Corrections’ Bureau of Probation and Parole. “They’re on the front lines every day, fighting crime by making sure offenders don’t break the law again.”
Probation and parole officers hold offenders accountable by checking on them at home and work, conducting drug tests and assuring that they are participating in treatment programs. They also help offenders turn around their lives by helping them get jobs, find housing and access social services.
Probation and parole officers are often the first to know when an offender is facing a personal crisis that puts them at risk of relapsing and reoffending. Officers commonly work closely with the offender, their families and other criminal justice partners to help the offender avoid a return to jail or prison.
“Community corrections helps offenders stay out of trouble and helps taxpayers save money,” Atencio said. “It costs about $4.00 a day to supervise an offender in the community versus about $52.00 a day to keep them prison.”
In addition to probation and parole officers, community corrections professionals include pre-sentence investigators, mental health clinicians, community work center security staff and drug and alcohol rehabilitation specialists.
About 14,000 offenders are under adult felony supervision by IDOC. About 15,000 offenders are on misdemeanor supervision by Idaho counties.