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.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Couple of Weeks To Go...

Last week I visited the probation office for a mandatory office visit and to pay the rest of the probation fees I owe as well.  The secretary counting my money found the stack to be $20.00 short, which it wasn't, but after a few recounts I officially paid off all of the fees to probation!  Then the bookkeeper behind the counter said "wait, no, he owes $130.00 on top of what he just gave us".  I just stayed cool and my PO went over to discuss it with her but I was kind of annoyed since the bookkeeper was the one who gave me the amount I needed to pay to have a zero balance and now she is saying I owe more.  As I mentioned in a previous post, ones probation can be extended after the scheduled release date if you owe probation fees, restitution, fines, etc...Thankfully, my PO ironed things out and I owe the Commonwealth nothing more than two more weeks.

I then told my PO I wanted to also pay probation the $110.00 DNA collection fee.  I paid the fee while incarcerated, the fee was refunded in 2001 due to a lawsuit, but I forgot about it until earlier this year when I was informed it wasn't paid.  However, here in Massachusetts, probation doesn't handle DNA fees, the State Police does.  So I then drove to the nearest post office to mail them the money order. Only problem is the State Police typically take several weeks to process your payment and to mail you a receipt.  This receipt is proof to your probation/parole officer your DNA fee was paid.  Unfortunately/fortunately for me, I have less than "several" weeks of probation left to serve.  If I cannot get proof of payment to my PO, then they won't release me.

After calling the State Police and explaining my situation, I was informed my PO could fax a request to the State Police seeking confirmation I paid the fee about a week after I mailed in my payment.  This way, I can avoid the nail biting at the mail box each morning hoping a receipt was in the mail.