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Women’s History Month: Dalvanie K. Powell

As News 12 celebrates Women’s History Month, one Bronx woman's commitment to the criminal justice system is helping uplift the community.

News 12 Staff

Mar 2, 2023, 3:24 AM

Updated 476 days ago


As News 12 celebrates Women’s History Month, one Bronx woman's commitment to the criminal justice system is helping uplift the community. 
Dalvanie K. Powell is the president of the United Probation Officers Association, and has been leading the union since 2016. She is the first African American woman to hold the role, and as an officer, supervisor and now union president, she’s been part of what she calls the ‘unsung heroes of the criminal justice system’ for 36 years.  
“They’re not numbers to us,” said Powell. “We have to develop relationships with these people, we have to gain their trust because by the time they've gotten to us they've been through so many different systems that've failed them." 
Powell says probation provides an alternative to incarceration, with the overall goal of helping people stay out of jail and keeping the community safe. However, she says that they aren’t viewed as uniformed law enforcement.  
Powell says the union filed a lawsuit against the city for equal pay back in 2018. She says probation is made up of roughly 80% female and 90% non-white officers.  
“We are in this fight together,” said Powell. “We have to set an example for the future of the young ladies who’re coming, we have to recognize our worth and know that we deserve better.”

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