A Guide for Surviving Probation
by Kristal Jones
As a former probation officer, the most important advice I can give you for surviving probation is to make sure that you report to your probation officer as directed - even if you do not have your payment. The quickest way to ensure a warrant for your arrest will be issued is by your failure to report as directed. There should always be an open line of communication between you and your probation officer. If you have an issue - whether it be with payment, drug testing, or substance abuse program - talk to your officer. If they do not know there is a problem, they cannot help you. Believe it or not most probation officers want to see you successfully complete probation. If you complete all requirements of your probation and pay all monies due, your officer may place you on a non-reporting status-certain restrictions apply.
Secondly, if you are ordered to complete a substance abuse program, color code or both you must comply - even if you are not convicted of a drug or alcohol crime. I know substance abuse issues are hard to accept and overcome - I spent 8 years as a Court Referral Officer. If you enter the program with an open mind, actively participate, and successfully complete said program, you may just learn something; and, overcome your substance abuse issue in the process.
Lastly, if you are associating with people that are abusing/using drugs/alcohol or they are actively involved in criminal activity you have to cut ties with them. I cannot tell you how many times clients have had their probation revoked because of their association with people that are involved in criminal activity. Remember, you are the one on “papers” not your friend.
In the event you need assistance regarding a probation violation, please contact our office at your convenience to schedule a consultation.