(Senate - September 15, 2015)

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[Page S6646]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  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