State probation departments are notorious for being underfunded and short-staffed. As over 700,000 inmates are released each year, with that number expected to rise as states seek to reduce prison populations as a budget cutting measure, probation departments are searching to find ways to be more effective.
As times change so, in some ways, does crime. In the last 30 years or so illegal drug use has risen to almost epidemic proportions. Drug related crimes, such as possession, transporting, distributing and dealing have clogged America’s state and federal prison system due to the war on drugs. Children have been incarcerated for minor crimes, or incidents like truancy. The majority of inmates in the U.S. will be released from prison one day. A large percent of them will be put on parole or probation. Unfortunately, as times have changed the programming and direction of many probation departments has not.
The Probation Review Guide (© Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps March 2011), offered to probation departments across the country, examines the framework of today’s probation departments and makes evidence-based recommendations for change. The guide is based on a review of the Jefferson Parish, LA Probation Department which was generated at the request of the department’s director in an effort to make his department more successful in
implementing its goals and objectives.