Adult probation – getting offenders back on track

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Limestone County residents who break the law have the opportunity to get their lives back on track thanks to a Maryland man who initiated the concept of probation 172 years ago.

According to the American Probation and Parole Association, a Boston cobbler named John Augustus convinced a Boston Police Court in 1841 to release to his custody a man arrested for drunkenness.

Fortunately, Augustus’ efforts to rehabilitate the man were deemed successful, and Augustus began taking other offenders on probation, despite resistance from the police and prison personnel, who were paid on commission for locking up offenders.

Because the 87th and 77th judicial districts cover both Limestone and Freestone counties, they share a community supervision corrections department, also known as the Adult Probation Department. Hoppy Mc­Gil­vray is the director of the department, and each county has its own deputy director: Brandy Agnew for Limestone County and Michael Dunn for Freestone. They serve the judges and courts of the counties’ district and county courts.

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