Marianas Variety

Last updateFri, 22 Sep 2017 12am

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    Thursday, September 21, 2017-5:51:16A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

NMI chief probation officer gets national recognition

CNMI Chief Probation Officer Ursula Lifoifoi-Aldan has received the prestigious American Probation and Parole Association or APPA 2017 Membership Award.

Lifoifoi-Aldan was selected among 80,000 probation and parole officer-members nationwide. She received a plaque with a commemorative inscription during the awarding ceremony attended by 1,750 registered participants on Aug. 28, 2017 at the APPA’s 42nd Annual Training Institute in New York, New York.

In an email to Variety, APPA deputy director Diane Kincaid said the association highlights the work of an individual member each year.

Ursula Lifoifoi-Aldan

She said Lifoifoi-Aldan is a staunch advocate for APPA and consistently promotes membership and involvement in the association.

For several years, Lifoifoi-Aldan has been advocating the importance of providing a unique voice on the board of directors to the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, American Samoa, the Philippines, and Guam, and her tireless efforts achieved success when the new Region 18 was instituted, Kincaid said.

Lifoifoi-Aldan is the APPA regional representative, and was credited for the establishment of Region 18 or the Western Pacific Region: the CNMI, Guam, American Samoa, the FSM, Palau, the Marshall Islands and the Philippines. The CNMI was previously part of Region 16 which included Hawaii and California.

Kincaid said Lifoifoi-Aldan travels thousands of miles and many hours to attend the APPA institutes and works tirelessly to ensure support for her colleagues.

“This requires a significant commitment of time and financial support, but she is committed to promoting support for community corrections and knows the importance of having the policy-makers at the table, and exposed to the latest research and information in our profession,” added the APPA deputy director.

“Lifoifoi-Aldan’s passion, commitment, and unyielding positivity is a model of unmatched professionalism,” Kincaid said.

The CNMI’s chief probation officer was nominated by one of the board members and was selected by the executive board of directors.

Lifoifoi-Aldan has 32 years of government service under her belt with 28 of those years as the CNMI chief probation officer.

She is the first woman to receive the APPA membership award for the region.

In 1981, she became the first female adult probation office hired by the CNMI judiciary.

“In assisting offenders we can turn their lives around so they can become law-abiding,” she said. “We help them move forward.”

Lifoifoi-Aldan said the CNMI probation office aims to provide public safety, submit reports to the judiciary, and assist offenders in their rehabilitation.

She thanked Gini Hinsfield, an APPA board director member, for nominating her.

Lifoifoi-Aldan also expressed appreciation for the support that the probation office receives from Chief Justice Alexandro Castro and Presiding Judge Robert Naraja, and for the training opportunities given to probation officers.

She is also grateful to her family for their support. “I am so happy that I made my family proud.”

She hopes the CNMI Legislature will continue to provide adequate financial support to the probation office which, she added, is the heart of the criminal justice system.

“Everybody is on the frontline for prevention, but after the trial, everybody forgets the probation office.”