CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

The benefit of recategorizing parolees after they serve time

Feb 2, 2024, 1:00 PM

An application for parole with an approval stamped onto the form....

An application for parole with an approval stamped onto the form. (Canva)

(Canva)

DRAPER, Utah – It’s easy to categorize people who are serving time, but should a person’s mindset change once they get out?

Billy Luke is a supervisor of adult probation and parole. In essence, he works with people, or “residents,” who once lived behind bars. More often than not, their motivations once they’re out don’t sound too different from our own.

“I had a gal that I supervised,” Luke shared, “she had been away from her kids, and after I had supervised her a little while she asked, ‘Billy, can I skip making my monthly parole supervision fees? This is the first opportunity I have to buy my kids presents.'”

This woman’s desire to be a mom was huge for Luke, but he knows any resident carries the baggage of serving time. Still, he says anyone can help by showing a little kindness.

“Smile, wave, invite them to your BBQs, treat them how you’d like to be treated.”

Community returns

The Golden Rule is foundational to help former residents feel welcome. The Department of Corrections civilian training coordinator Dennis Walker reminds the community that parolees are more  common than people think.

“Over 90% of them are going to be released. They’re coming back to our communities,” Walker said.

“They’re going to shop where we shop. Their kids are going to go to school where our kids go to school. They’re going to worship where we worship. They are going to reintegrate into society the very best they can… We want them to succeed.”

That success is more than just emotional. Walker said parolees who successfully reintegrate have a return investment of 5:1 when you account for how much it costs to keep someone on parole.

They’ll also continue to benefit the overall economy as they reenter the workforce. This commitment to working leaves an impact on those around them.

“They teach their family,” Walker said. “And people around them see this person has changed their life.”

To Walker, it’s all the more reason to welcome residents.

Appropriate Boundaries

If someone chooses to accept parolees back into their community, then Luke offers one caveat: set boundaries when it comes to interacting with registered sex offenders.

“We have the registry for a reason,” Luke reaffirmed. “But I have them in my neighborhood, you have them in your neighborhood.”

To this end, it’s important to set those boundaries as a person gets to know them.

“I’m not going to let them babysit my children,” Luke said. “But have I seen them in my community? Absolutely. Do I wave at them as I drive by? Absolutely.”

“We have to establish our boundaries,” Walker added. “Have a discussion with them. It’s OK. People who have been incarcerated are OK with having accountability discussions to understand boundaries…Come to an agreement with them. Be reasonable and listen.”

Walker said every positive interaction moves them forward.

“Eventually, they won’t see themselves as an offender anymore. Hopefully, they’ll get to that point where that was a blip on their radar.”

Related:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Crime, Police + Courts

FILE - Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the former armorer for the Western film "Rust," listens to closing ar...

MORGAN LEE Associated Press

Movie armorer seeks dismissal of her conviction or new trial in fatal shooting by Alec Baldwin

'Rust' armorer seeks to dismiss her involuntary manslaughter conviction or convene a new trial after dismissal of Alec Baldwin's case.

18 hours ago

Emery County's Search and Rescue Team and Department of Public Safety officials worked to rescue a ...

CARLYSLE PRICE, ksl TV

Three rescued from Zero Gravity slot canyon

A family was rescued from the Zero Gravity Slot canyon by Search and Rescue team after one man was “wedged between canyon walls."

23 hours ago

A man convicted of defrauding investors in a Utah smartphone scheme will spend nearly five years in...

Tammy Kikuchi

Utah man convicted of fraud for cell phone scheme, must repay $10 million

Chad Leon Sayers was sentenced Monday in Utah's federal court for a cell phone scheme. He will spend nearly five years in prison.

1 day ago

Toymaker Claude Nile Thacker was killed by a drunk driver back in December 2022....

Lauren Steinbrecher

DUI driver sentenced to prison in beloved Toymaker’s death

The DUI driver was sentenced to 1 to 15 years in prison for the death of beloved toymaker Claude Nike Thacker.

1 day ago

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., enters federal court in New York, Friday, July 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Pamel...

Mariah Maynes

Jury reaches verdict in in Sen. Bob Menendez trial

ABC News reported that prosecutors alleged Menendez had been accepting bribes. The jury found him guilty on all counts in his federal corruption trial. 

2 days ago

RNC Chair Michael Whatley speaks during the Republican National Convention Monday, July 15, 2024, i...

Emma Keddington

LISTEN: Preparing security for an event like the Republican National Convention

What kind of planning goes into security for a major event like the Republican National Convention held in Milwaukee?

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

The benefit of recategorizing parolees after they serve time