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Judge decries using texts to check in with probation officer

June 17, 2013 at 12:19 PM

CANBERRA, Australia, June 17 (UPI) -- An Australian judge said it was "unsatisfactory" for a teenager to use text messages to check in with his probation officer.

Children's Court Judge Tony Rafter said he does not approve of the 16-year-old, who was sentenced to four months of probation for intent to commit an offense, using text messages to check in with his probation officer, The Brisbane Courier-Mail reported Monday.

"Due to the respondent's work commitments, he was permitted to report to a probation officer fortnightly by sending a text message," Rafter said. "This seems to be an unsatisfactory mode of supervision under a probation order. It is unlikely that such limited contact with a probation officer would provide any assistance in the rehabilitation of a child. It may be that the requirements of a probation order will impact on other aspects of the child's life."

Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie said he is putting an end to the practice of allowing text message use for probation officer check-ins.

"I have told my department that this is unacceptable. Reporting by phone isn't good enough and will no longer be permitted," Bleijie said.

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