Maryland probation agents short-staffed, worried about reform

Maryland probation agents short-staffed, worried about reform

With criminal justice reform comes a chance to make changes in your life.
If you are potentially going to be on parole or probation, hearing that
reforms could give you a better chance of life outside prison or more
freedom in a parole or probationary program would seem amazing. Unfortunately,
in Maryland, probation agents are saying that there aren’t enough
of them to keep up with the latest reforms.

A new law has been designed to keep nonviolent offenders out of prison
completely, but that won’t be possible without the parole and probationary
agents needed. There is a chronic shortage of probation agents, so there’s
no one to check offenders or to file reports with the court in a timely
fashion. Without enough support, the new reform, called Justice Reinvestment,
will simply overwhelm the agents who are already behind due to larger-than-usual
caseloads.

Right now, some agents argue that secretarial roles haven’t been
filled in their offices, forcing them to do desk work when they should
be working with those on probation or parole. It’s been reported
that around 10 percent of all probation agent jobs are also vacant, showing
just how short-staffed the state is. It’s expected that at least
60 new workers will start in the state’s probation academy for training
in August, and more will be added in October as needed.

What does this mean for you? In the future, if you’re arrested for
a nonviolent offense, you’ll be less likely to go to prison and
more likely to go through rehabilitation and probation, which helps you
avoid missing out on your personal life.