JACKSON, Miss.- During the week of July 18-24, the essential responsibilities performed by probation, parole, and community supervision professionals will be honored nationwide. Right on Crime recognizes the critical role of Mississippi’s probation and parole officers in keeping our communities safe, assisting individuals with returning to society, and saving taxpayer dollars through alternatives to incarceration.

According to Scott Peyton, a former probation and parole officer, “The men and women who serve as probation and parole officers are the unsung heroes of reentry who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe.  From its inception, community supervision was intended to be a beacon of hope for those individuals who seek a second chance and redemption.”

Today in America, there are more than 5 million adults on community supervision, and most of these individuals are monitored by pretrial, probation, and parole officers. Probation and parole officers in Mississippi supervise more than 34,000 individuals. Monitoring may take the form of home contacts, drug testing, making sure the supervisee attends counseling sessions and helping those individuals on supervision to find suitable housing and employment.

Budget shortfalls mean that community corrections professionals must be creative in finding solutions to make sure those they supervise have the support needed to find jobs, housing, and treatment. By collaborating with community leaders and volunteering their own time off work, many officers are making a difference while faced with expanding caseloads and additional responsibilities.

Members of our community are encouraged to join together during Pretrial, Probation, Parole Supervision Week to honor those who work to make our communities safer places to live.