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Living with 290

Living with 290: A Wife’s Story Continues

This morning my loved one went to see his probation officer. He actually had some good news for him. After taking two polygraph tests and being evaluated by his sex offense counselor, the probation officer has decided to reinstate his computer and cell phone privileges. So he comes home, and fires them up after not using them for two years. I immediately go into a mass panic and ask him if he got the approved changes to his probation in writing. He said when he asked for written confirmation, the probation officer said “Have them contact me if there are any issues.” I immediately told him to pack both the phone and computer up and don’t use them. As cynical as I am, all I could think of was the possibility of another sting.

I tried to contact the probation officer by both phone and e-mail. I explained, as nicely and respectfully as I could, all the challenges both of us have faced in the last two years. I also asked what guarantee did my husband have that he would not be violated by some over zealous law enforcement personnel on their next visit? I got an e-mail back saying he couldn’t discuss his case with me without my loved one’s permission. Okay – He said he would contact the probation officer in the morning and consent to allowing me to speak with him.

My question is: Why does he have to have permission to talk to me when the probation officers that visit us have had no qualms about questioning me and searching my things? I’m not on probation. Again, all we are asking for is written confirmation to use both the computer and cell phone. It’s going to be a long night as I now expect a “visit” after dark.

Am I wrong to be so paranoid and mistrusting of those who say they are here to help our loved ones rehabilitate? And people wonder why the spouses leave. It’s not because they no longer love and believe in their spouse. It’s because they are treated as if they are registered sex offenders just because they didn’t leave. I’ll keep you posted . . .

Part I

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  1. Someone who cares

    My motto has always been :”Better safe than sorry”. I would always get things like that in writing. True, a lot of our paranoia is only in our heads, but why risk anything when it only takes a minute to get something in writing. Are you in California? I thought the PO could only search the “offender’s” things? I don’t have anything to hide, but I would like to know if that is even legal. Hope things will work out for you.

  2. Q

    You did the right thing, as these people have no honor and are devoid of integrity.

  3. MM

    I agree with you. Pack it up, turn it off … put it away UNTIl you have something in writing. My opinion, it’s better to be safe and ‘hope’ things will work out … IN WRITING.

  4. td777

    No, you are not wrong. It’s not paranoia when they really are out to get you!

    Do not trust probation officers for ANYTHING not in writing! I had one who conspired with an investigator and a therapist to lie about me because she didn’t like that I was originally given probation without any jail or prison time on my case.

    • Tim

      You did well. Everything needs to be in writing. When I was on probation and allowed only day visits to my family, I made sure I was out of there by 10 PM. During the wildfires of 2003, I wanted to go to my family and make sure they were safe. I stayed away, because one slip up could keep me from my family for years, if not for good. What good would I be then to them? The probation officers told me the next day: why didn’t you just stay overnight. It would have been OK. Don’t take the bate. I understand the strong desire to live a normal life. But don’t be fooled by promises of normality. There is little about probation that is normal. Make the best of what you have and are allowed in his written conditions. Everything is temporary, after all.

  5. Robert Curtis

    While someone is on probation or parole it’s best to keep a running Journal that logs down any contact with a PO and law enforcement. Also whenever possible have witnesses available as well. Always document time, date and things said and done. This might not matter to many PO’s but it lets them know they’re not the only one keeping record. A log-book of events might be admissible in court (an attorney like Janice and/or Chance would be the ones to ask). Even if it’s not just the comfort of knowing you have a record can cover your backside if you need to reference things it might keep you from being violated to easily at least. Remember the PO has a lot of people to look after who’s to say they don’t make mistakes confusing your case with someone else? A personal log-book just makes good sense.

  6. Jason Wilson

    When i was on parole, i couldn’t ever get anything in writing. (actually, that’s not true, i have two pieces of paper, one forcing me to move because i lived too close to school and another saying i was to be on parole longer than the 3 years i was sentenced to).

    Sad.

  7. Crk

    I was on parole and had no access to computers as a parole condition, even though no computer was involved in my crime. When the parole dept placed me in a sober living home I was concerned that a computer was there. I asked my parole agent and he and the subsequent P.O said it was alright because they placed me there. Said I could use the computer but don’t go to any porno sites. Would not give anything in writing. Nearly 3 years later I was arrested for having access to a computer and was lucky to only do 5 months in prison for parole violation. Of course this is outrageous as they put me there in the first place. These people are idiots and the system is totally corrupt.

  8. mch

    All the experiences and advice given regarding the deceitfulness of probation/parole agents is very worthwhile. You think they get promoted by helping their cases live successfully? Nope, their promotions come by violating their cases through any means possible, including, but not limited to lying through their teeth. DON’T TRUST THEM AT ALL! I had no access to computers, and even had internet access blocked on my phone. They checked my phone but I knew they would! I was prepared. I also kept logs, but I’d add this. Write those notes while in the presence of the PO and then request they read and initial your notes, then staple their card on that page. Just know each violation is a feather in their cap. Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

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