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Video Examines Probation, Changing Offender Behavior

The tales of how two criminal offenders successfully returned to society after years in federal prison are at the heart of a new U.S. Courts video, in which a U.S. District judge, a federal probation services official and a probation officer based in Wisconsin discuss how courts help former offenders become law-abiding citizens.

The panel discussion, titled “Knowledge Seminar: the Art and Science of Probation and Pretrial Services Supervision,” was held July 16 in Washington. The panelists are Judge Julie Robinson, District of Kansas; Matt Rowland, Chief of the Probation and Pretrial Services Office at the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts; and Jesse Sorkness, federal probation officer with the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Two segments focus on the cases of former offenders Patrick Washington and Kerry Lewis. According to the video, Washington tried to place a contract on Robinson, who was a federal prosecutor handling his drug-trafficking trial. After a change of heart while in prison, Washington was released to federal probation supervision, and he and Judge Robinson since have spoken together to youth audiences.

The full video is also available on the Judiciary’s YouTube page.

Related Topics: Probation and Pretrial Services