Monday, January 25, 2016

A Hard Time Seeing A Future


PROBATION & PAROLE OFFICER, CONOR COLEMAN:
“A HARD TIME SEEING A FUTURE”
NEW MEXICO DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS

 The 2016 Legislative Session has arrived. This is one in a series of posts from the staff of the New Mexico Corrections Department. We intend to send a daily update to all our legislators with key points, facts, figures, personal stories describing life here at NMCD.

    Probation and Parole Officer (PPO), Conor Coleman, tells us that “a lot of officers have a
hard time seeing a long-term future with the department.”

Why? “There doesn’t seem to be much incentive, economically, to stick around,” he replies.
 
“I don’t think anyone is in it for the money” Coleman adds. “A lot of the people drawn to this are really passionate and want to help people. That being said, there are practical concerns. People want to be able to provide for their family. People want to be able to manage their household…buy a home.”

It’s clear that Coleman enjoys his job, which is to supervise probationers and parolees: between 80 and 110 offenders. He meets with offenders, makes sure that they are satisfying the conditions of their supervision, and provides them with resources to aid them with any issues they may have…anger issues, substance abuse, poor vocational skills.

There’s a general feeling that there’s not a lot in the long term with this department, which is devastating. The work is very important and is tremendously rewarding and many, many, many of the officers truly love what they do.”

He views his role as not only an enforcement officer, but also a social worker to help reintegrate the individuals under his supervision.

Conor strikes me as a caring, educated young man. He’s been with the department for four years.

Let’s try to keep him for the long-term. The proposed State Personnel Office’ Compensation Package request would address the issue of pay of PPO’s in our state.





CONTACT: LUCY RIVER, POLICY & LEGISLATIVE OUTREACH DIRECTOR: 505.259.4743

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