On Wednesday October 12, 2016, the Bethel Probation Office was nearing the close of business when a man formerly on parole supervision walked into the lobby and asked for his past Probation Officer, Lynn Carlson. Upon making contact with PO Carlson, the man disclosed that he was overdosing on heroin. Staff called 911 immediately and PO Carlson stayed with him until medics arrived, even assisting him into the ambulance. The reason the former parolee gave for coming to Bethel Probation was that PO Carlson was “the only person” he trusted. The man had not been on community supervision since 2014.
This is a powerful illustration of the important work Probation and Correctional Officers do. Treating people with care and building rapport with those under DOC supervision can have a lasting impact on lives, regardless of the legal outcome of a case. PO Carlson is one of many professionals in the correctional and therapeutic communities around Alaska who are making a difference in the face of a growing epidemic of opioid dependence. Thank you PO Carlson, we appreciate you!