Probation and Drugs

Probation and Drugs You are a county probation officer who believes that only the most serious offenders belong in prison or jail. You are particularly disturbed by the fact that more and more people on your caseload are on probation for drug offenses. Although you personally believe that marijuana is a harmless recreational drug, you know that it continues to be outlawed in your state and can bring substantial terms in the county jail. One day, a probationer reports to your office. Up until now, he has been a model probationer; he is employed and has paid all of his fines. Today, however, he has very bloodshot eyes and smells like marijuana. One of the conditions of his probation is that he refrain from all illegal activity. It is at your discretion whether or not to request a urine sample from him. If he tests positive, he can be sent to jail. If you fail to report your observations about his physical appearance when he arrived at your office, you can be fired. The probationer reveals to you that he “may have smoked a little ‘something’ ” because he was depressed about the death of his mother. He begs you not to ask for a urine sample because he has only one month remaining on probation. Answer the following questions:

a. What are your options at this time? What should you do?

b. How can you show him that you are serious about his committing no more offenses?

c. Assume that his statement about the death of his mother seems genuine, and that you as a probation officer have a strong intuitive sense about when people are lying to you. Does this drug use seem as though it will be a growing problem, or that it will end here?


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