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Idaho Falls Honors Probation, Parole Week

We report on crimes in the area every night. Often those arrested end up convicted, sentenced to jail or prison time and when they get out, they’re put on parole. Others don’t serve time but are kept on probation

This week, parole and probation officers across the country are receiving some much needed recognition for a tough job.

Every day Joyce Cumpton and Brandon Hobbs head out on their rounds and check in with parolees all over Idaho Falls.

It’s a job not a lot of people think about.

?A lot of people don’t know about probation and parole,? Hobbs said. ?It never occurs to them that it may differ from law enforcement.?

And it’s much different. There are 1,500 felony parolees and it’s the job of 24 officers to make sure they’re following parole.

The job goes beyond check-ins; it’s about building relationships, the officers said.

?It’s a tough job. Most of these folks are pretty broken. It takes a lot to keep them going in the right direction,? district manager at Community Correction Division Terry Kirkham said.

?There’s quite a bit to it, quite a bit of engagement with both the treatment, both law enforcement and the courts, to keep people on the right track and the community safe,? Hobbs said.

To keep the parole officers safe, they’re fully equipped to protect themselves.

?It’s a dangerous job,? Kirkham said. ?You’re going into someone else’s home. You don’t know who else is in there, so you have to survey your surroundings.?

It’s a job that saves tax payers money. Keeping an inmate behind bars costs more than $50 a day while having someone on parole cost just $4.

And in Idaho Falls, officers say they’re some of the best.

?I’m not afraid to toot our horn a little bit; we do very well,? Hobbs said.

While the job can be tough, at the end of the day they say it’s all worth it.

?It’s a very rewarding, very rewarding job,? Hobbs said.

The national celebration continues all this week, but next week a private party will be thrown in honor of the Idaho Falls officers.

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