The Champion

June 2010 , Page 5 

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A Win-Win-Win Situation: Alternatives to Sentencing

By Cynthia Hujar Orr

Read more President's Column columns.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Dick Burris, the U.S. Probation Officer for the Eastern District of Missouri, at an NACDL seminar. He has been called the “James Brown” of probation officers because he used recidivism risk reduction programs to turn his district around from the third highest district for recidivism to the 68th. Pleasant and driven, he is the hardest working probation officer in the business. One of the judges in his district remarked that he had gone from spending Friday afternoons revoking supervised release and probation to playing golf. This probation office enhances the criminal justice system instead of just adding to our over-burgeoning prison population.

Burris shared an unusual e-mail from one of his officers. It asked if he actually needed to send notice to the judge that he would be seeking a downward variance since the office routinely did so. Most of us have been waiting to see just one of these from our local probation offices. At the St. Petersburg,

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