It can't possibly be easy to be a probation officer. Your job is to routinely check in on previous criminal offenders, make sure they're following their probation guidelines and sticking to their community service and, oh, right, make sure they're not breaking laws anymore. Shouldn't be too difficult, but sometimes the offenders make it difficult. Reddit user, u/madcre, wanted to know about those times when they asked:
When They Don't Do As They're Told
Probation officers of reddit, whats the dumbest thing that you've seen an offender do while on probation?
Had a kid on probation for your basic teenage offenses (minor vandalism, shoplifting); kid had a rough upbringing and almost no role models so the judge took it easy on him and he got sentenced to community service rather than Big Boy Jail.
Didn't show up.
The kid just didn't go because, according to him, he wasn't about to be seen picking up trash like some lowclass "insert whatever racial slur kid could think of." Well, guess who got to go to Big Boy Jail.
Cheers! You're Going To Jail
A friend of mine was a probation officer we were out at a bar one night after a softball game and she abruptly said "I need money for 2 shots, I'll tell you why in a minute."
Confused but intrigued I gave her some cash and watched as she went to the bar and ordered 2 shots. She went up to a guy I didn't know and was quite a bit older than our friend circle was. She handed him 1 of the shots, did the cheers salute and took her shot. She said "see you at my office tomorrow" and came back to our table. He just stood there staring at us for a few seconds, took his shot, and left.
She fills me in that the man was on probation and had a scheduled appointment with her the next morning. She was pretty confident that he would be going to jail for being caught in the bar, so she figured she would buy him his last drink.
Steering Into The Chaos
My old friend who was on probation and on the way to meet his probation officer for a meeting and drug screen. I think he was on probation for writing some bad checks.
Anyway, he forgets to allow enough time for his bag of purchased "clean" pee to sit next to his body to heat to the right temperature. Genius decides to swing by a gas station on his way to meet his officer and throw the piss bag in the microwave. Welp, somehow he lost track of time with this as well and ended up exploding his pee bag in the microwave. Knowing he had no solutions to his now multiple problems, he went back home and partied. He didn't even clean out the microwave.
Turned himself in when the warrant was issued and went to jail for 30-ish days.
I was on probation years ago. At the time I had a serious opioid and benzo habit. I had just spent a week in jail over a probation violation for not paying a fine. Got out, started back at it right away, since I didn't use for a week my tolerance went down a bit. I had to see my probation officer in a week from the time I got out.
That whole week was a blur but I remember the night before, I did a few pills, passed out in my car in a grocery store parking lot. I wake up to cops around me. They make me get out, I take a sobriety test where you watch their fingers and such the a breathalyzer, I pass both. I get back in my car, they tell me to get going but leave before I did. I didn't want to drive that messed up, so I didn't and passed out again in the same spot. The same cops come back a few hours later, again they give me the tests and I pass. They tell me to pull my car over to the side of the street where I sleep for the night. The next morning I go to see my PO, I was still completely wasted, though, at the time I didn't realize this. My P.O. knows I am messed up the minute she looks at me. She sends me in the bathroom with this guy to pee in a cup, when coming out of the bathroom I had forgotten to button my pants, they fall down right in front of her, I had underwear on fortunately.
She asks me if I have a drug problem, I tell her no, but I may fail the drug test because of prescriptions. She again asks me if I need to go to rehab, I say no. Looking back on it, she was giving me the option of rehab rather then jail. Anyway, she handcuffs me and takes me to country jail, I was there for 3 months. To top it all off, I had driven to my PO's office. Luckily she didn't site me for the DUI though. They had my car impounded and I never got it back.
This was years ago. I have over 3 years sober now. I was a complete f* up, and am so thankful to be where I am today.
Taking The Easy Way Out
Former PO... We had to stand in the bathroom and watch as the offenders provided a urine sample. One time, a black male decided to use a "whizzinator" (plastic penis with a tube attached to a plastic bag full of "clean" urine). He didn't think that officers would be in the bathroom watching him and unfortunately for him, he used a white "whizzinator".
Another time, an offender was told that he was being arrested. He panicked and decided to run through the window, that was in his officer's cubicle (1st story). Apparently, not thinking that he was in South Florida, he bounced off of the hurricane proof glass. When he woke up, he was already in handcuffs, ready to go.
Just Come Clean
My former boss was a probation officer. He once told us about an 18 year old on probation for drug use that lived out in the country. He went one night to check on him. He was greeted at the door by the teen's father holding a shotgun as he had assumed my boss was an intruder. After explaining to the father why he was there it turned out that the teen had never told his parents about his arrest or drug use. The man called his son into the doorway and proceeded to force him to apologize to his probation officer.
People Can SEE My Facebook?
The amount of clients who don't realize their social media pages are public is insane. I had several clients post pictures of themselves smoking or drinking or being places they shouldn't be. Guess who'd get drug tested the next day? I also had a client post pictures of herself with her baby-daddy, who just so happened to be a wanted felon for the past four years. Cue nice big investigation where everyone ended up in jail.
Another fun story: client tests positive for THC one time. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. But we have to take the proper steps. So I bring him in to have a conversation with my supervisor about it. We're basically going to tell him "hey, cut it out" and send him on his way. But this guy absolutely loses his mind during the conversation. Ranting and raving and telling us to take him to jail because that's what we want to do anyway. Wrong buddy. Just lay off the weed for six months until you're free. But nope. This guy gets so upset he throws a punch at me and ends up spending the next six months in jail.
TL;DR: make your social media pages private and don't be an overreactive crazy person.
Watching A Compatriot Lose Themselves
I was on probation at the time. We're in the waiting room, and some kid ( maybe 18-19) pulls out a small one hitter pipe. Everyone looks at him and he just takes a hit of spice in the f-cking waiting room, with everyone there just looking at him
Something Worse Than Cavities
Was an RA in at Pre-release center a summer while in college. Only time I had to read legal stuff and send someone back to prison was a guy that had used all of his food stamps that was supposed to go to his wife and kid on a bunch of candy. And illegal candy (only certain types were allowed in the center, but I really don't remember what/why).
So a thirty-something YO man was crying that he was going back to prison over some candy.
I'm a case manager for offenders placed on probation to help get their stuff together.
Not my client but I know one who narrowly passed his diversion program instead of going to prison, only to go to the probation lobby and a watch a rap video of himself. Waving pistols around. With a sheriff behind him watching it.
He was violated and sent to complete his prison sentence.
Wow, No Resistance Whatsoever
My dad is a PO when giving a drug test to a "client" the results came back and my dad ask the client if he had anything to tell him. The client then admits he stole his neighbor's Xbox.
Also they think it they unplug the ankle monitor receiver no one will notice.
Just Don't Say Anything...
At my court hearing, another dude was there because he allegedly got drunk one night and shot a bullet through the wall of his apartment complex. Apparently the cops confiscated a bunch of guns from this dude's apartment (not sure if they were legal or not). From how it sounded, this kid probably shouldn't have possessed any firearms. While he was at the stand, he asked the judge if he could have the guns returned because he still had a few and since they were part of a collection, he wanted them all together.
Complete silence in the courtroom. I watched the lawyer's shoulders tense up. The judge was not impressed. She let him have it for still having guns when he should've given all of them up that night. She told him he needed to turn in the rest of the guns or he'd be violating probation and would go to jail.
He probably kicked himself so hard after that.
But, Was The Puppy Okay??
An old roommate of mine was on probation for drunk driving and he calls me one day to ask if I can take his dog out for a walk because he won't be home. He rear ended a cop in a parking lot with an open beer in the car. He got an ankle bracelet and I got a new apartment.
I'm not living with someone that stupid.
Yeah, He Probably Got Fired
Guy showed up to probation reeking of alcohol (a multiple time ovi offender of course) naturally he got selected for a "random" breath test. Dude blew .293 and told me he last had a drink last night.
Now policy was that he could either have someone pick him up or he could stay until he sobered up (jail was overcrowded ).
Now he starts ranting and raving about how he is going to be late to work and he doesn't have anyone to call. I tell him tough, (I'm not letting him go alone to kill someone on the highway).
Eventually he gets desperate and calls his ex girlfriend and the crazy thing is she agrees to come! She shows up pissed as hell. I photo copy her license and hand him over to her. He tells me that he might get fired cause he's going to be late. The ex gives him the side eye I've ever seen and says " you haven't been this early to work in years!"
I laughed my a-- off till I went to bed.
Had a client sentenced for transportation fraud, skipped out on cab fare.
Guess how she got to her 1st appointment with me?
Yep, took a cab to my office and skipped out on the fare.
Neighborhood 4th Of July Party
County sheriffs deputy here, our bomb squad was called out to help with a probation search after agents found a pipe bomb in the felons house while doing a home visit. Blew it up with a robot in the middle of a nice middle class neighborhood.
A family member was on probation, he got pretty lucky but has keep his act together.
Anyways, he was out in the woods with friends (probably smoking weed) and the police show up and they all run.
Okay, great, they got away, except: he left his ID at the scene.
Why was his ID out to begin with!?!?
Does Getting On Reddit Count?
I missed my probation meeting this morning. I have never missed without calling before. I just messed up my calendar entry.
What do I do? I don't have much experience with this stuff.
Call and leave a message. Make sure to call as soon as the office opens tomorrow. You'll probably have to go pee but if you have always been compliant and the officer is understanding and can tell the mistake was genuine they may be cool about it.
Just thought of another one so I will double post. Not a probation officer but a cop.
Two months ago I get called over to a 4 car accident involving injury. Investigating officer says that the driver that caused the accident is acting funny and he isn't sure what is wrong with her. I'm a "DUI expert" in a sense so I head over.
Before I get there the woman is passed out. Initial officer says when he got there she awake but not really responsive, could barely manage to get her wallet out of her purse. Multiple witnesses had been following her prior to the accident and she was all over the road. One witness had been following her for several miles before she got off the freeway. Several witnesses tell us that she tried to flee the accident, but they stopped her and took her keys. The woman then grabbed a water bottle and began to take a series of small sips off of it. It was strange enough that several witnesses mentioned it.
The woman didn't smell like alcohol, pupils are responsive and not pinpoints, heart rate is good. The contents in the water bottle didn't smell like anything. We get a lot of heroin overdoses but this doesn't quite look like one. Will absolutely not wake up, doesn't respond to sternum rubs. Paramedics get there, they aren't sure what is wrong either so they pump her fill of Narcan, still no change. We rush her to the hospital.
Get to the ER and they take her to a normal room. Doctors come in, then more doctors, then more. When presented with ammonia she turns away, so some of the doctors start to think she is faking. More sternum rubs, I start to feel bad because this girl is going to be in a world of hurt when she wakes up. Doctors can't figure out what is wrong, immediately transfer her to trauma I.
They incubate her, X-ray and send her for full imaging. Nothing is showing wrong so they decide to wait for the blood work. Blood comes back normal with no drugs. About 2-3 hours later she finally wakes up. I find out that she is on felony probation for extensive DUI, theft and drug history. I interview her and she denies using drugs. I explained that the hospital blood came back negative, but while she was unconscious I obtained a warrant and drew her blood which would go the state lab for testing. She tells me she was using GHB.
Initially she gives me a BS story that she went to visit a friend at his work who is a known abuser of GHB. She tells me that he had a Gatorade which she took a drink of and it tasted funny. I call bullsh-t, I tell her I saw three bottles in her vehicle on scene and ask if there is anything in those bottles. She recants, tells me that the clear water bottle contains GHB. I get a warrant for the car, get the bottle and send it to the lab. Bottle contains GHB. Learned from the probation guys over at drug court that GHB is commonly abused since it doesn't show up in drug tests. Even hospitals don't check for it in their normal drug panels. I had to send the blood to the sexual assault lab rather than the standard county toxicology lab as they weren't able to test for it either.
When she woke up she was actually a really pleasant, nice person. She had been on drug court for 3 years, was supposed to graduate in 4 weeks when this happened. She put two people in the hospital with her stupidity, damaged 3 cars and totaled one. She didn't have insurance. I rushed the toxicology results to make sure the case got filed before she was released from probation. The judge in drug court immediately remanded her to 180 days, no good time, no early release, no ankle monitor release. This will be her third DUI and because it involved injury there is a good chance she will go to prison for the minimum mandatory of two months then start all over on parole.