By STELLA THEVENIN
Capital News Service
LANSING — Midland County’s Probation Parole office has a new officer.
He is Paul Gordon, 47, who has been with the Michigan Department of Corrections for 15 years.
Most recently, he worked at the Standish Maximum Correctional Facility before moving to the Midland office Nov. 1. So far the job has been very interesting, Gordon said.
“My job is pretty important in terms of making sure the parolees become productive citizens,” he said.
One of his goals is to make sure the parolees do not go back to prison, he said.
His main function is to make sure that parolees are following the conditions set by the parole board.
Toward that goal, Gordon will be making personal contacts to make sure the parolees are meeting these conditions. His caseload consists of supervising both maximum-minimum-sentence parolees.
In Michigan, prisoners receive a sentence where the judge gives them a minimum and maximum sentence.
Once prisoners serve out their minimum sentence, they are interviewed by the parole board, which determines whether or not to release them based on specific conditions.
Gordon said he will work with a wide range of parolees, being released from prison after serving time for a wide range of crimes.
Gordon said he hopes that his position as a parole officer will allow him to make a positive impact on parolees’ lives.
His experience includes working in a variety of positions throughout Michigan.
Parole is a trend when some prisoners are overcrowded, and as a result more people are being put on parole,” he said.
Kim Ade, another parole officer in Midland, said, “Gordon will be a wonderful addition to the program.”
She said Gordon will deal strictly with parolees who take advantage of community programs.
All community resources should be tried before parolees are sent back to prison,” she said.
“Gordon will be very firm and very fair. I am confident of his abilities to manage his caseload successfully,” she said.
Ade has more than 10 years’ experience with the Department of Corrections.
Her caseload includes both probation and parole cases, because of this, her caseload is low, nine to 15 cases, she said.
Gordon will be dealing with more parole cases.
One of the most important aspects of his job, Gordon said, is to make sure that parolees are seeking employment and attending treatment programs.
Ade said most of the parolees during the two years she has been a parole officer successfully complete their terms and are not returned to prison.
“Rehabilitation is important in helping a person realize how they got into prison in the first place, ” she said.
Her role as a parole officer is to assist the parolees so they can remain crime free.
Gordon said he hopes to have the same impact on his parolees by helping to make sure with community programs they are able to maintain a life outside of the prison system.
© 2002, Capital News Service, Michigan State University School of Journalism
By STELLA THEVENIN