COVID-19 has deeply impacted the lives of all Americans, changing how we work, play, shop, and conduct most aspects of our lives. As someone on probation, you may be concerned about how the coronavirus will affect you in your interactions with The Office of Community Corrections in your area. This is a matter of concern not only for probationers but for probation officers and other probation services staff. No one wants to contract the virus or spread it unknowingly to family, friends, or co-workers. Prevention is key in containing the virus and keeping everyone safe.
According to the Florida Department of Corrections, it supervises more than 164,000 individuals in the state; these individuals report to and are monitored by officers in approximately 130 locations throughout Florida. Individuals on probation can include those released on parole as well as those released conditionally or due to medical issues.
How Does the Coronavirus Affect Probationers?
While COVID-19 testing is ongoing in Florida prison facilities, testing is currently not a requirement for those on probation. The Florida Department of Corrections currently states the following information on their webpage: “If an offender on community supervision tests positive for COVID-19, they will work directly with their probation officer on reporting requirements.”
The above directive, however, fails to provide structured information about how to deal with the threat of the coronavirus when you are required to appear for regular appointments and check-ins with your probation officer. The key factor that is suggested in the above statement, however, is to work directly with your probation officer. Your probation officer may have already instituted changes that take into account the need for social distancing. This could mean checking in and communicating by phone or videoconference as opposed to face-to-face meetings.
Other aspects of your probation may have already changed; the closure of bars and restaurants means less chance of probation violations related to alcohol. Many probation officers are not issuing technical violations during this time to keep probationers out of jails which can be breeding grounds for the virus. If gainful employment is a condition of your probation, you may have lost your job like millions of other Americans and this can be of great concern. Talk to your probation officer about this matter to get clarification.
Turn to The Law Office of David A. Webster, P.A.
If you have questions or concerns about your probation, its terms, and how COVID-19 is impacting you in Seminole County or if you have been accused of a probation violation, you can discuss your case with a skilled attorney at our firm. With over 30 years of combined experience shared by our legal team, we provide dedicated criminal defense help to all of our clients. We understand your concerns and how difficult this time can be for you in navigating the probation system.
Contact us at (407) 326-0650 or online to schedule a free, initial consultation about your case today.