La Paz County Has New Probation Department Head

The new Chief Probation Officer for La Paz County is Gregory Green. He began his new position Feb. 24, taking over from John Dyess. He is the county’s third lead probation officer after Dyess and Richard Tozer.

Green has 36 years experience involving juvenile and adult criminal offenders. Originally from New York, he came to La Paz County after 15 years with the Allegheny County Probation Department in Pittsburgh, Penn. His duties there included supervising a sex offender special services unit.

His educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in the Administration of Justice from the University of Pittsburgh (1997) and a master’s degree in Social Science Criminal Justice from California University of Pennsylvania (2003).

A press release from the La Paz County Superior Court stated, “Greg comes to La Paz County and the State of Arizona with numerous skills in organizational management and hands on professional experience with community relations, victim sensitivity and offender management. He combines risk and needs assessments and cognitive behavioral interventions to help improve the quality of life for our community.”

Green told the Pioneer he wanted to come to Parker because he wanted to do his work in a different environment with a slower pace. He said he saw the La Paz County position advertised while in Pittsburgh and saw this as an opportunity.

Probation is a sentence for a criminal offense that allows a person to remain in the community, but under supervision by the court. He said probation is handled pretty much the same around the nation.

“Balance and Restorative Justice” is how Green described his approach to probation work. He said this approach involved three things: community protection, competency development for the offender, and holding the offender accountable for his or her actions.

Green said competency development involves ensuring that, when a person completes probation, he or she has the skills to become productive members of society. He said the probation department also needs to address the underlying factors that led a person to offend, such as drug addiction or lack of an education.

For drug addicts, this could involve getting them into rehabilitation programs, Green said. If a person is lacking in education, this could mean getting them into programs to obtain their GEDs.

Green said probation work is somewhere between law enforcement and social work.

“It’s more than just surveillance,” he said. “There is a social work aspect to it.”

Green said he was impressed with the highly-skilled and well-trained staff at the La Paz County Probation Department. He said his predecessors laid a tremendous foundation, and he looks forward to working in La Paz County.

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