New team creates possibilities for probationers, parolees

Published 3:44 pm Thursday, July 27, 2023

The Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles supports 62 field offices serving the state and functioning as a local base of operations for Probation and Parole Officers and support staff. The Greenville Field Office, which serves Butler, Lowndes, and Crenshaw counties, is staffed by a relatively new team committed to serving the tri-county area.

According to bureau digital media specialist Jakiya Dudley, Probation and Parole Officer Heather Koerner views her position with the agency as a way to help people. A previous law enforcement detective and the vice president of the domestic violence shelter in Opp, Koerner has spent most of her career lending a helping hand to individuals needing support and guidance.

“One of my primary goals in my position is to help my clients be a better version of themselves,” she said. “I want to see them succeed and I’m willing to help and motivate them to do just that.”

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Field officers like Koerner are required to make contact with probationers and parolees, in varying degrees which are based on their risk level. Those contacts range from monthly office visits for low risk persons to weekly office, home, employment, and curfew checks for high risk individuals.

In addition, officers conduct investigations as requested by the Bureau or the courts and assist local law enforcement agencies when needed.

Specialist Joyce McPherson joined the office recently and manages and organizes records and documents so they are easily accessible when needed. Coming from a background with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the 35th Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force has given McPherson the skills needed to efficiently serve in her new position, Dudley explained.

“Although it’s only been a short amount of time here in the Greenville office, I can already tell this is going to be like home,” McPherson said. “It’s a different scope of law enforcement for me, but a great learning experience.”

Administrative Support Assistant III Jennifer Knighten is the newest member of the Greenville team. She served as office administrator for the Crenshaw County Sheriff’s Office for 15 years and said she loves the small, close-knit staff at the Greenville Field Office.

“I am excited to begin my journey of serving my community in a new way,” said Knighten. 

To learn more about the functions of an Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles Field Office, visit www.paroles.alabama.gov