SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - This week a key program in local court systems is recognized for helping people when they finish their time in jail or prison.
The week is known as pretrial, probation, and parole services week.
Many people like Brandon Miller have had their lives transformed through rehabilitation.
When Miller said, “I’m so grateful that they gave me my love of life back,” he was referring in large part to his probation officer Lupita Flores.
He is referring to his probation officer Lupita Flores.
Miller is grateful to have a second chance at life, but his path to redemption wasn’t an easy one.
He shared, “To get locked up… to feel better about myself… because now all the drugs were out of my system… All this stuff was going right. But then I knew I was going to come out to nothing. That was very anxiety inducing and it made me want to give up before I even started.”
Miller has experienced the trauma of incarceration first hand, and wants the criminal justice system to change.
He explained what the hardest thing for him to endure has been stating, “ When people get locked up on probation violations or locked up on little stuff, that they lose everything.”
The people in pretrial, probation and parole services work to keep communities safe.
Probation officers like Lupita Flores also work to help former inmates create a better life and become contributing members of society.
"It's one case at a time. You know, we can't change the world all at once. It makes me feel good that I'm able to help somebody meet one of their goals or the just the goal of getting on probation successfully,” said Flores
A big goal of the probation officers is to ensure those who come out never go back.
They accomplish this by helping with resources from housing to mental health and employment services.