45 Civil Rights Groups Urge House of Representatives to Reject H.R. 1039 | Forum

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Admin May 19
For Immediate Release
Contact: Shin Inouye, 202.869.0398,
inouye@civilrights.org
May 18, 2017
WASHINGTON—Today, The Leadership Conference on
Civil and Human Rights and 44 groups sent a letter to
the House of Representatives in opposition to H.R. 1039,
the Probation Officer Protection Act. That bill, scheduled
for a vote tomorrow, would broadly authorize federal
probation officers to make warrantless arrests of parties
not under their supervision.
“H.R. 1039 is unnecessary and dangerous, would inhibit
successful reentry, and raises serious constitutional
concerns,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of
The Leadership Conference. “There are alternatives that
protect probation officers while avoiding the pitfalls of
an unnecessary and broad expansion of their arrest
authority. We urge the House to vote no on this
misguided legislation.”
The letter on H.R. 1039 states in part, “Probation
officers’ role within our judicial system is to assist with
a probationer’s transition back into society and report to
the court on a probationer’s progress. To expand
probation officers’ authority to allow probation officers
to arrest—without a warrant—any person whom they
claim is opposing or impeding their work in some way is
unnecessary, likely to be dangerous, and would inhibit
successful reentry. For the probation system to work, we
need the cooperation of the third parties contemplated
by this bill—family and friends—to assist probationers
and individuals on supervised release as well as the
probation officers visiting them. The threat of arrests of
third parties in a probationer’s environment will erode
the goodwill necessary for that vital cooperation.”
The letter to the House on H.R. 1039 is available here.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is
a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more
than 200 national organizations to promote and protect
the rights of all persons in the United States. The
Leadership Conference works toward an America as good
as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership
Conference and its 200-plus member organizations,
visit www.civilrights.org.