‘I genuinely care’

(Video / Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News)

Probation officer Terri Telkamp has a unique approach to her work in Barrow. She suspects many people who wind up on her caseload are affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, and has adapted in ways she hopes will lessen the likelihood that felons will reoffend.

In this video, Telkamp talks about her methods to simplify the process and encourage rehabilitation for North Slope criminals in late 2013. Though now retired, Telkamp hopes her style of probation enforcement will increase community safety in Barrow.

“It really varies, but I think overall I have probably a higher success rate than most. Maybe part of that’s due to the extra time and effort I do put in to the clients with some disabilities, that extra experience I have in my ability to work with them.”

Telkamp isn’t alone in confronting FASD in the Barrow justice system. Judge Mike Jeffery has spent decades searching for ways to provide fair treatment to people with that disability. Click here for more on Judge Jeffery’s perspective.,

Originally published May 23, 2014 by Marc Lester in Anchorage Daily News.