RICHMOND — This week, the Virginia Department of Corrections honors the men and women who work to keep communities safer by providing guidance, support and structure to Virginia’s returning citizens who are transitioning back into society after completing prison terms.
Governor Ralph Northam earlier declared July 19-25, 2020, as Pretrial, Probation, and Parole Supervision Week and the Virginia Department of Corrections celebrates its probation and parole officers for the critical role they play in promoting public safety in the Commonwealth.
This year, COVID-19 has created numerous challenges to post-release monitoring and the providing of services for citizens on supervision. Virginia’s probation and parole officers have risen above the challenges and developed new and effective practices to supervise clients through the use of technology, collaborations with community partners, and when necessary, safely in person.
“Our probation and parole officers met the pandemic full force, adjusting and working creatively to supervise and monitor our returning citizens. Their commitment has promoted the safety of citizens across the Commonwealth and undoubtedly helped to save lives,” said VADOC Director Harold Clarke.
Through their work in the community and collaborations with the court system, local jails and local law enforcement, Virginia’s probation and parole officers are a vital component in Virginia’s successful re-entry efforts, with the Commonwealth achieving the lowest recidivism rate in the country for the fourth consecutive year.
The VADOC employs approximately 678 probation and parole officers and 179 senior officers who supervise more than 68,500 offenders in 43 state probation and parole districts throughout the Commonwealth.