To the editor:
During the week of July 19 through 25, people across the U.S. and its territories will join together to recognize the work that probation, parole, and community supervision professionals do for our public safety. This is a time for all to recognize the men and women who work every day on the front lines with probationers and parolees, holding them accountable for the crimes they have committed against our families, friends, neighbors, and communities.
Since 1841, the practice of probation and parole has played a vital role in our justice system. These professionals are a critical part of the public safety system.
Today in America, there are more than five million adults on community supervision, with most of these individuals being monitored by probation and parole officers. Within Kansas, one such supervision entity is the office of Court Services, which is located within the district court of each individual district. Court Services Officers’ supervision of offenders may take the form of home visits, drug testing, collaboration with community agencies, helping offenders obtain housing, and employment.
Court services officers are professionals who provide protection to our communities and assist juvenile and adult offenders to become productive members of society. One day they may play the part of a counselor, the next they are enforcing the terms and conditions of their probation supervision. They are problem-solvers, crime prevention specialists, motivators, educators, facilitators, and at times, they are the only support system an offender may have.
Court services officers in the Eighth Judicial District are a viable asset to the Kansas Judicial Branch, state of Kansas, their local judicial district, and their local communities. Court Services Officer’s in the Eighth Judicial District supervise offenders in Dickinson, Geary, Marion, and Morris counties. CSO’s currently are supervising 514 adult/juvenile offenders, 112 juvenile diversion cases, and 58 bond clients district-wide.
In addition, CSO’s in this district conduct a “nightlight” program in which they ride with law enforcement to conduct home visits, bar checks, and employment visits as well as provide a Youth Court teen program for first-time juvenile offenders who are judged by their peers.
Members of our community are encouraged to honor these Court Services Officers who work to make our communities a safer place to live during Probation, Parole, and Community Supervision Week. Thank you.
Chief Court Services Officer 8th Judicial District