Educating Communities about the Role of Probation Officers in Public Safety
In an effort to enhance public understanding of the crucial role probation officers play in the criminal justice system, Local 685 President Hans Liang, along with Deputy Probation Officers Maryam Munir and Mike Davis, delivered a passionate presentation to the victims' group "Justice for Murdered Children." The meeting was delivered in a Zoom format, hosted by the group's founder, Lawanda Hawkins. Ms. Hawkins has been providing a platform for grieving parents to share their experiences of losing children to violence and to gain insight into the responsibilities of probation officers.
Local 685 President Hans Liang initiated the discussion by highlighting the significance of probation officers in promoting public safety and rehabilitation. President Liang emphasized the need for community engagement and understanding the challenges faced by those affected by crime.
Local 685 Secretary Maryam Munir shared her experiences working with juveniles in the criminal justice system. She shared her passion for helping individuals reintegrate into society and discussed the various support systems available to probationers. She emphasized the importance of addressing underlying issues that might contribute to criminal behavior, ultimately striving to break the cycle of recidivism.
With a specialization in the Mental Health Assessment and Treatment (MAT) Team Unit, DPO II Mike Davis delved into his duties and responsibilities as a probation officer. Davis' unit focuses on the unique challenges posed by individuals with mental health issues involved in the criminal justice system. He highlighted the importance of tailored rehabilitation programs to address the specific needs of this vulnerable population.
A father, who was preparing to attend the court hearing of the young teenager who allegedly murdered his 16-year-old son the next day, was shocked to learn that it was possible that the juvenile who allegedly killed his son would receive only minimal punishment for this egregious act, because he was a juvenile. President Liang encouraged these parents to pay close attention to the laws that are consistently being changed by the very politicians that the community is electing.
The informative session proved to be a significant step towards fostering understanding and collaboration between probation and victims’ groups. As the conversation between deputy probation officers and the "Justice for Murdered Children" community continues, it is hoped that such interactions will facilitate healing and contribute to a more rehabilitative and compassionate criminal justice system.