Probation Services Week

Probation Services Week
Posted on 07/17/2021
PPPS Week LogoHear firsthand how our Probation team never stopped during COVID and why our Probation Officers love what they do

Manatee County’s Pretrial and Probation Services Division has accomplished much over the past year which will be highlighted during National Pretrial, Probation and Parole Supervision Week (July 18 to 24).

Each year, the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) recognizes the nearly 100,000 men and women throughout the United States who spend their days working to improve outcomes, both for the individual and for the public safety of our communities. While much of the nation was shut down during at least part of the pandemic, Pretrial and Probation Services divisions across all 50 states have remained open.

For Manatee County’s Pretrial and Probation Services team, which includes four Probation Officers who screen nearly 300 pretrial clients monthly at the Manatee County Jail and 13 Probation Officers who supervise an average of 1,600 Pretrial and Probation clients a month, it has been business and usual, per Jennifer Burgh, Probation Services Manager.

“Our programs are seven days a week. People who are arrested still have the right to go before a judge within 24 hours so we still had to be in court every single day and we still had to prepare the paperwork for them to be released every single day,” said Burgh.

While social-distancing requirements, such as reduced room capacity, were resolved by quickly adapting to staggered work schedules and teleconferencing in the beginning in order to effectively monitor everyone and stay in compliance, the main challenge has been the growing mound of clients as a result of the court’s backlog.

Pre-COVID, the average Pretrial client was 90 days—usually anywhere from two weeks to as long as five years. Throughout the pandemic, with clients moving through the judicial system much more slowly, the average amount of time has doubled to six months, bringing the monthly client average up from 125 to about 175 per Probation Officer.

Often each client comes with a unique set of circumstances, wherein the probation team works to help connect each to various resources to help them stay out of jail.

“We try to help them with any and everything we can—whether it is employment, housing, substance abuse, mental health, any of those things,” said Burgh.

One Probation Officer, Juan Borrero, explains that often clients look to them to provide support, and they try to direct them to the right community resources to help them.

“Besides Probation Officer, we become social workers, counselors. We try to counsel them and help them through that . . . I always tell my people when I see them after they finish their time in probation that I don’t want to see them again for probation. If you come to see me and say hello, it is fine,” said Borrero.

Manatee County’s Pretrial & Probation Services Division supervises two diversion programs: Pre-trial intervention and DETER. They also facilitate monthly Victim Impact Panels, a Special Response Team and a Offender Work Program. The cost savings for keeping each person out of jail is approximately $101.72 a day.

Hear from some of Manatee County’s Probation team: Look for video posts on social media during the week on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @manateeneighbor.

More information about the APPA

About Manatee County Neighborhood Services Department: Neighborhood Services provides a wide range of services focused on enhancing the overall quality of life for Manatee County residents. Through Children’s, Aging, Veterans, Libraries, Underinsured Healthcare, Probation and Fee-Assistance Services and Programs, the Neighborhood Services Department works to inform and connect residents to the non-profit agencies we help fund and other resources available in our community. For more information, call (941) 749-4501, visit and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @manateeneighbor. For more information about Manatee County Government, call 941-748-4501 or visit, and follow them on @manatee.county.fl or twitter @ManateeGov.