Graciela works in Nogales, Arizona, as an adult probation officer and pre-sentence report writer. She previously worked as a field officer and also on intercounty and interstate cases. Graciela has worked with her department for almost 18 years but, prior to that, she spent three and a half years as a medic in the Army and two years as an EMT/volunteer firefighter for a local fire station.
Graciela, who goes by Gracy, says there are lessons from her time in service that she still uses today when assisting on arrests. “Be aware of your surroundings. Remember that if you’re in control of the situation, then you’re in control. Don’t be afraid. Lead from the front.”
Her primary responsibility these days is the completion of pre-sentencing reports, a nuanced job that requires input not only from department heads but defendants and attorneys as well. A recommendation is made that can be very impactful to the lives of the defendants awaiting sentencing. Luckily, these discussions don’t have to be in person. Ever since the coronavirus pandemic began, Graciela and the rest of her department have been working on weekly rotations: half in the office and half out. “I love it! As a PSR writer, it’s easy to work from home. I have asked attorneys if they’d like to use Skype (instead of a phone call), but nobody wants to do it that way.” If the defendant is in custody, Graciela must also go to the jail and complete an interview with the individual there.
In addition to her primary responsibilities, Graciela is a facilitator for “Real Colors,” a substance abuse cognitive education program for probationers. She is also very active in support of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). She currently holds the position of Junior Vice Commander. During this coronavirus pandemic she has taken care of other veterans that might be in need by providing food supplies and company via telephone.
Thank you, Graciela, for all you do in your community. Stay safe and hopefully we’ll get to see you soon!