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Don't Overlook Those on Probation

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In the otherwise fascinating (and I assume, accurate) article about muckraking [“How to Keep Tabs on the Man,” May 28, City Weekly], I noticed an omission.

While the article states, “Looking for an offender currently under the jurisdiction of the Utah Department of Corrections (i.e., in prison or on parole)?” the story left out the fact that people on probation to the district courts in Utah are also under the jurisdiction of the DOC.

As a retired adult probation and parole agent, I can assure you, the list of people on probation is way longer than the list of folks in prison or on parole.

I’ve been out of the game for three years now, but when I left, we had about 6,000 people in prison between Draper, Gunnison and local jail cells the department was renting. There were about that many again on parole. But there were around 18,000 on probation! I can’t tell you how many times my partner and I would show up in a nice neighborhood in our gun belts, shirts that said “police” on the back and badges around our necks, to scare the “heck” out of some nice neighbors in Sandy, Herriman or Bluffdale—not to mention Magna and West Valley—who had no idea that “Brother/Sister Jones” was a convicted sex offender/thief/drug dealer, etc.

So if you really want to know about your friends, neighbors, co-workers, and fellow churchgoers, check that DOC Website (www.cr.ex.state.ut.us)—but don’t overlook the ones who haven’t yet been to prison. It’s only a matter of time.

Jeff Stickley
Murray

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