Though this blog is was originally intended as a resource for offenders in Massachusetts, much of what I write about is applicable to sex offenders in every other state and many countries around the world, especially in Western Europe. Even other non-sex offenders trying to navigate prison, probation and parole, or employment and education opportunities can glean relevant information from this blog and apply it to help overcome their own struggles.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lots of Waiting Awaits You: After 232 Home and Courthouse Visits I Know!

Whether you're in prison or on probation, you know all about waiting.  Waiting for the years to click away; waiting for chow time; waiting for a letter; waiting for the gate to open; waiting for your Probation Officer; etc...  As a probationer, it's maddening and somewhat counterproductive for a probationer who is working or attending class.  But it is what it is.

Tomorrow, I yet again have to wait for my probation officer to make a home visit. This will be about the 116th home visit by probation.  They always say they be at the house between 7am-12pm.  This type of waiting is one of my real gripes with probation.  Imagine having to wait for the cable guy once a month!  I have alternating biweekly home and courthouse/probation office visits which doesn't sound that bad but if you do the math the hours of waiting add up.  With me, a whole morning every other week is dedicated to probation.  Whether it is waiting to see my PO come down the street or driving 45 minutes/40 miles to the Superior Courthouse, its costly in terms of lost income at the very least.  I've had to turn down work and substitute a day class with a night one due to the scheduling conflict with probation and the mandatory nature of the home visit.  And if you miss the home visit, your PO is less than pleased since he is only out in my area once every few weeks.  I'd be violating the "maximum supervision" condition of my probation contract.

If I worked at any "real" job, I'd be gone unless I could come up with some life or death excuse such as "I'm receiving life saving transfusions at a hospital every other week" or "I have to bring a family member to the hospital for chemotherapy".  Sounds extreme but you might find it necessary to, yes, lie.  For those of you who are able to work with an understanding boss to get the time off to see you PO, that's awesome, though at the same time people who can't mind their own business will ask around and wonder why you aren't at work and who you are talking to in the parking lot one Friday a month.  Make sure you have a believable cover story!  Your job may depend on it.