Former Probation Officer Teaches Juveniles About Criminal Justice Through Radio Show and Local Classes

One of the many ways offenders find themselves back in prison is by not having a complete understanding of the criminal justice system. When offenders go on probation, they may not realize that even the tiniest of offenses can land them back in prison, sometimes for years.

Monalisa Weber, previously a probation officer in Florida, found this to be unacceptable. She worked hard with her cases, and watching many of them end up in prison again for years or even decades inspired her to begin a radio show in 2014 called Probation Station. It quickly became a popular show for incarcerated criminals who knew little to nothing about the criminal justice system. Weber’s theory was that if offenders knew how the system worked, they could set themselves up for success and prevent landing back in prison.

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Since the radio show, her role as educator grew. She was asked to teach a monthly class at a local library, but that wasn’t enough. She drafted up a proposal for the Broward School Board to teach a pilot class at two juvenile detention facilities in Florida. Like many educators, Weber recognizes that teaching children what they need to know at a young age will set them up better in the future. She does not want to hear any more horror stories from previous offenders about being slapped with a decade of prison time for a minor infraction while on probation or parole. What Weber wants more than anything is to make sure her students know the terms of their probation so they can once again become contributing members of society.

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