Minimum of 300 words
As a probation officer in the Intensive Supervision Probation Department, you have a caseload of 40 offenders, most of whom are drug offenders on intermediate supervision. Your agency operates under mandatory sentencing statutes that require one year in prison without parole for persons convicted of drug offenses committed in “drug –free zones.” Under state law, such zones include any place within 1,000 feet of a school or 500 feet of a park, library, museum, or public housing project. The law also imposes a mandatory 90 day prison term for anyone possessing drug paraphernalia.
One of your female offenders is a single mother with a six year old daughter who attends elementary school near your office. Knowing that she has lunch with her daughter every Wednesday, you schedule this offender’s next probation appointment to meet with you immediately after her visit at the school. When the offender arrives at your office, you search her coat and find a small glass pipe and two off-white nuggets that resemble crack cocaine. When you questioned, the offender readily admits that she had visited her daughter’s school prior to the probation appointment. However, she tells you that the coat was borrowed from a friend because of the cold weather.
What dilemmas are presented in this situation?
Setting aside any required action, how would you react to this situation?