September 15, 2015 - Issue: Vol. 161, No. 132 — Daily Edition114th Congress (2015 - 2016) - 1st Session
RECOGNIZING THE 90TH ANNIVERSARY OF U.S. PROBATION AND PRETRIAL SERVICES; Congressional Record Vol. 161, No. 132
(Senate - September 15, 2015)
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[Page S6646] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] RECOGNIZING THE 90TH ANNIVERSARY OF U.S. PROBATION AND PRETRIAL SERVICES Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, in March of 1925, President Calvin Coolidge signed into law the Probation Act, making that sentencing option available in the Federal courts. Six months later, on September 22, the first Federal probation officers were appointed, taking on the crucial dual task of promoting rehabilitation and protecting public safety. On this 90th anniversary, we pay our respects to the probation officers who serve the public, helping to keep our communities safe. The advent of probation at the Federal level was driven by the success and spread of probation by individual States. Between 1909 and 1925, some 34 bills were introduced to establish a Federal probation law. President Coolidge, who as Governor of Massachusetts was familiar with probation at the State level, provided key support for the law's final passage. A significant impetus for the law's eventual enactment was the fact that the National Prohibition Act of 1919 made Federal criminals out of many non-violent, otherwise law-abiding Americans. Under the auspices of the U.S. Courts, Probation and Pretrial Services has been operating a Federal re-entry court since 2008, along with programs aimed at addiction recovery. Among those first Federal probation officers was George Grover, who, 20 years before the Probation Act became the first state-authorized probation officer in Maine, serving Cumberland County. Mr. Grover was a vigorous advocate of probation as an alternative to incarceration. Allowing a non-violent offender, under rigorous supervision, to remain at home and in the community, on the job and supporting a family, Mr. Grover often said, ``Gives a man a chance to try again.'' Probation officers are important members of the law enforcement community. Together with pretrial services and other law enforcement agencies, they help individuals become productive, responsible, and law-abiding citizens. Balancing corrections and rehabilitation with safeguarding the public is difficult and, far too often, dangerous. On this 90th anniversary, we pay our respects to the probation officers who have lost their lives or been assaulted in the line of duty. In particular, I salute the men and women of Probation and Pretrial Services in Maine and across the country for their dedication to the public they serve. Mr. KING. Mr. President, I wish to recognize the 90th anniversary of the U.S. Probation System in Maine, for their dedication to ensuring the criminal justice system operates effectively and the public remains safe. Two events will be held in recognition, scheduled for September 21, 2015 and September 25, 2015, to commemorate 90 years of hard work and success. Signed into law by President Calvin Coolidge in 1925, the Probation Act altered the outlook of our judicial system. The act empowered courts to suspend a sentence and place worthy defendants into the probation system. Under predetermined conditions and irrefutable terms, low-level offenders have the opportunity to stay with their families and remain employed, while giving back to the community. For 90 years, this important piece of legislation has helped change and enhance lives, while keeping communities safe. Implementing probation services as a Federal law was a long and arduous process, and required significant effort at the State level. Maine has been a leader in supporting probation services since the early 1900s. In fact, Maine is home to George Grover, one of the first federally appointed--unpaid--State probation officers. He was appointed 90 years ago, on September 22, 1925, and served the communities and courts of Maine diligently. The U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services of Maine are dedicated to the betterment of the entire State. Helping to change lives, keeping families together, allowing defendants to stay on the job and give back, are just a few of the benefits this system regularly achieves. The U.S. Probation System is also committed to addressing and combating the serious concern of drug addiction in Maine. Through re-entry courts and treatment services, the probation system is helping low-level offenders turn their lives around and earn a fresh start. I applaud the U.S. Probation and Pretrial System in Maine for their dedicated service to communities and bettering lives throughout Maine. I would like to join the U.S. District Court of Maine in highlighting the success and hard work that has been demonstrated over the last 90 years. ____________________