“We’re Just Trying to Help”: Local Pell City and Ashville Offices Encourage Positive Customer Change

By Matthew Estes, Director of Communications

ST. CLAIR COUNTY – On Wednesday, September 7, I visited the two field offices of the Alabama Office of Pardons and Parole in St. Clair County. The Pell City office is located downtown at 111 20th Street North, while the Ashville office is located just outside of downtown at 35755 U.S. Highway 231. Together, these two offices provide convenient access the local needs of probationers and parolees.

In Pell City, Officer in Charge Chris Regular sat down with me to discuss his passion for using Moral Recognition Therapy. MRT is a method for developing better decision-making skills with probationers and parolees. “It teaches you to rethink the way you think,” Regular said.

Regular also complimented each of his team members, detailing the areas in which they excel: “It’s nice when everyone knows what they’re doing and they do it really well.”

In Ashville, I spoke with Officer in Charge Marlon Gladden, who has a genuine heart for helping the people his office oversees. Gladden has a long history in law enforcement and sees his position with the Bureau as a unique way to encourage positive change. “Being on this side of the oversight process is rewarding,” Gladden said. “We’re just trying to help.”

Gladden also spoke about the professionalism of his team: “Everyone here really likes each other. It really is a family atmosphere. Visiting these two offices, it is clear that the needs of probationers and parolees are met by staff who work well together and have a desire to encourage improvement.

The Bureau has 62 field offices, serving every county in Alabama. Field offices function as a local base of operations for probation and parole officers, specialists and other support staff. Officers are required to make various contacts with probationers and parolees depending on their level of risk. These contacts range from a monthly office visit for those at low risk to weekly office, home, employment and curfew checks for those at high risk. Additionally, officers are tasked with various types of investigations requested by the Bureau or the courts, as well as assisting other law enforcement agencies as needed.

Ashville field office employees.
From left to right: Administrative Support Assistant III Danielle Poe, Officer in Charge Marlon Gladden, Senior Specialist Megan McClendon

Pell City field office employees.
From left to right: Officer Timothy Smith, Administrative Support Assistant III William Warren, Specialist Lori Francis, Officer in Charge Chris Regular

Exterior of the Ashville Field Office.

Exterior of the City of Pell field office.

Officer in Charge of the City of Pell, Chris Regular.

Officer in charge of Ashville, Marlon Gladden.

Pell City Officer, Timothy Smith.

City of Pell III Administrative Support Assistant William Warren.

Denise W. Whigham