Fairbanks Probation Office
The Fairbanks District Office currently is charged with oversight of felony offenders, including tracking offenders who have absconded from probation and/or parole. The office is responsible for a geographic area extending from the Alaska Range to the Brooks Range, including the Tanana and Yukon River watersheds - over 37% of Alaska and an area greater than the size of California, the Nation's third largest state.
The largest metropolitan area in the probation district is around Fairbanks, where Alaska Natives make up about 9% of the 85,000 total population. Most (well over 60%) of the probation district's approximately 800 supervised offenders live within the Fairbanks metropolitan area. The probation district contains a total of more than 40 communities, with populations ranging in size from approximately 31,000 (Fairbanks) to fewer than 10 (e.g., Kallands). Usually, the District supervises offenders living in about half of those communities. Many of them are fly-in only, with no road connection.
The office is staffed by two District Supervisors, 11 probation- parole officers (10 of whom supervise offenders and the one who writes presentence reports on a full-time basis), three criminal justice technicians, and one office assistant. Three probation officers provide supervision to specialized caseloads: sex offenders, chronically mentally ill offenders, and Felony Driving Under the Influence offenders. Two probation officers supervise drug-related and high-risk offenders. Two other probation officers supervise the rural regions. Of those, one supervises the rural areas near the road system - south from Fairbanks on the Richardson Highway to the Canadian Border, and also south on the Parks Highway to Cantwell. The other "rural" probation officer supervises the area north of Fairbanks to the Brooks Mountain Range and east to Kaltag, all of which is primarily inaccessible by road.
About the Area
While the City of Fairbanks is an urban area with urban amenities, less than five miles from the center of town people are using wood stoves for heat, hauling drinking water to their homes, and in some cases still using outhouses. Due to the extreme temperatures (as hot as 99 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and as low as -72 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter), work tends to be seasonal - construction, fire fighting, tourism, etc. The farther away from Fairbanks one gets, the more people are very dependent on subsistence hunting and fishing as a necessary means of living through the winters. The Alaska Native population is mostly Athabascan.