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US Rep. Bill Pascrell Honored by theProbation Association of New Jersey

Brielle, November 17, 2004

Pascrell Recognized as "Legislator of the Year" at Annual Convention in Atlantic City

BRIELLE - The Probation Association of New Jersey (PANJ) announced today the recognition of Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., (D-NJ-8) as its "Legislator of the Year" for his national leadership on behalf of probation officers.  Most recently, Pascrell sponsored the Probation and Parole Officer Safety Task Force Act of 2004 that establishes a Task Force within the Department of Justice to study Federal and State policies as they affect the personal safety of probation and parole officers during the execution of their duties.

Pascrell will be honored during PANJ's 62nd Annual Training Institute to take place
Nov. 21-23 in Atlantic City. More than 700 Probation Professionals from throughout the mid-Atlantic region are expected to attend.  The theme for the year's gathering is "Reaching New Milestones, One Step at a Time."

"I am tremendously honored to be recognized by such an outstanding group of brave and dedicated professionals," stated Pascrell.  "There is no question that probation and parole officers are exposed to more risk today than they were in the past. People sentenced to probation and those released on parole are serious offenders.  You can count on me to keep fighting to protect those who work day in and day out to keep our neighborhoods safe."

"The Probation Association of New Jersey is proud that a Representative from its home state has shown such initiative in the nation's effort to support officers throughout. The Association thanks Congressman Bill Pascrell for his leadership and vision," said Stuart Martinsen, Legislative Chairman for the PANJ.

According to recent statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Justice, 45 percent of all state prison inmates were either on probation or on parole when they committed the acts for which they were sent to prison.  Of 162,000 recent probation violators, it was learned that during a 17 month period, the violators committed 6,400 murders, 7,400 rapes, 10,400 assaults and 17,000 robberies while under supervision in their communities.  It is also significant to note that approximately 21 percent of probation and parole violators reported that they carried firearms while on community supervision.

"Clearly, probation and parole officers are charged with an enormous daily risk and must have the ability to protect themselves at all levels of confrontation," added Pascrell.

"Unfortunately, safety standards these officers are inconsistent and often insufficient.  For our nation's probation and parole agencies to protect and serve the public effectively, we must insure the standardization of the many components that drive their mission."

The PANJ annual Awards Luncheon will be held on Nov. 22 as Officers will recognize Congressman Pascrell along with other individuals who have made significant contributions to the Probation profession during the last year.  Award recipients are nominated and selected by their fellow Officers and Supervisors.

The PANJ is a professional association and labor union that serves almost 3,000 Probation Officers and Supervisors.  The organization is currently celebrating its centennial year and is an affiliate member of the American Probation and Parole Association. 


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