Contact: John Caher, Director of Public Information
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services
(518) 457-8828 or (518) 225-5240 – cell
Marc Violette, Director of Media Relations
New York State Division of Parole
For immediate release: Sunday, July 18, 2010
Governor Paterson proclaims July 18-24 as
Probation, Parole and Community Supervision Week in New York State
Albany – Probation, parole and community corrections professionals throughout New York State are being recognized this week for their valuable contributions to public safety, as Governor David A. Paterson has proclaimed the week of July 18-24 as Probation, Parole, and Community Supervision Week in New York State.
In issuing his proclamation, Governor Paterson cited the important – yet often unsung – work done by Probation and Parole officers in every county of the state. Together, these officers supervise thousands of probationers and parolees, as well as other individuals through pre-trial, community service, defender-based advocacy and other specialized correctional alternatives programs.
“Probation and parole officers are essential members of the law enforcement community,” Governor Paterson said. “They risk their lives monitoring those under supervision, collaborate with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to investigate and combat crime, and keep all New Yorkers safe by ensuring offenders comply with their terms of supervision. They are champions of community justice, and greatly contribute to New York’s standing as the safest large state in the nation.”
There are more than 3,100 probation officers and 1,172 parole officers in New York State. More than 140,000 adult and juvenile probationers were under supervision across New York State at the end of 2009, including 26,947 adults convicted of drunk driving and 4,851 adult sex offenders. The Parolee population in New York State totaled nearly 40,000 during the same timeframe, with 16,684 of those offenders having been convicted of violent felony offenses.
In addition to their supervisory responsibilities, Probation officers play a key role in ensuring that probationers who are required to provide a DNA sample after being convicted of a qualifying offense comply with those requirements. Last year, county Probation Departments collected 34 percent of the 48,287 DNA samples collected statewide, the most of any contributing agency. Those DNA collections by Probation officers have helped solve nearly 800 major crimes, including 90 homicides.
“The DNA databank is one of the state’s most effective crime-solving tools. I commend Probation officers for the important role they play in collecting DNA and in the job that they and the state’s Parole officers do, day in and day out,” said Sean M. Byrne, acting commissioner of the state Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), which oversees the state Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives. “They are unsung heroes who balance two very different roles – that of law enforcement officer and social worker. They know when to enforce and when to empathize, so that those they supervise are better equipped to live productive, law abiding lives. And that makes communities safer.”
Robert M. Maccarone, deputy commissioner of DCJS and director of the Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives, said: “Probation and community correction professionals oversee nearly 200,000 individuals in New York State’s criminal justice system each year and have a remarkable record as a force for positive change. Through the implementation of evidence-based practices and program services, victim-sensitive approaches, and a continued commitment to offender accountability, these professionals advance the very best interests of community safety”.
Andrea W. Evans, chairwoman of the New York State Division of Parole, said: “The men and women of the Division of Parole help make New York’s communities safe places to live, work and raise families. We perform this service with unfailing commitment while also working to ensure that men and women newly released from incarceration make successful transitions to productive lives in those communities. The job of a Parole Officer is challenging and frequently dangerous. But the rewards are immense for successfully assisting recently incarcerated individuals pick up the pieces of their lives and become contributing members of society. And the value that Parole Officers provide to the State for performing that critical public service is incalculable.”