TULSA, Okla -- The Department of Corrections Probation and Parole department is a team of dedicated men and women. They are responsible for tracking more than 32-thousand offenders statewide.
Jason Taylor and his team use sophisticated GPS technology to monitor location and watch for probation violations. Taylor said, “Our guys come in everyday and make sure these people are where they’re supposed to be.”
Like most ODOC departments – these officers scale a daily mountain of responsibility. Each officer is in charge of between 80 to 100 clients. Parole officer Donn Foster said, “It’s rewarding when you see them get their lives straightened out.”
And parole officers must tailor supervision to each offender. Team Supervisor Eric Clayton said, “Some might include working with the offender to get employment or housing or treatment for their drug addiction. It can be stressful at times and it can be very rewarding at times. Especially when you see these people who have gone through probably the lowest point of their lives and turn it around and succeed through employment or addiction."
Probation and Parole is a fusion of law enforcement and case manager. The offenders are guided through job training to drug treatment -- anger management to parenting skills. According to Training Officer Shane Barnes, “They do have and possess the skills and knowledge to be productive in our community. Maybe just offering them something they didn’t have before, motivation and support to move out there and be productive. “
Probation and parole will never really know how many offenders they’ve saved. But officers do get an occasional visit or thank you letter. Assistant Regional Supervisor Tom Nelson recalled an annual holiday greeting, “I had a case load many years ago and I got several Christmas cards. It is rewarding. We don’t get succeed with everybody but it is rewarding for those we do succeed with. I think we do well here in Tulsa and all over the state.
It is a committed and collaborative effort to protect our communities and get offender’s lives back on the right path.