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Becoming a U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Officer

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US Probation and Pretrial Services District of Minnesota by Kito Bess

To All Criminal Justice Students, Legal and Community Correction Practitioners:

Are you looking to start or elevate your career with the U.S. District Court, U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Office? Interested in learning more about what we do; how we positively impact the lives of others; and what it takes to become a U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Officer? Are you a HUMBLED, INNOVATIVE, and COMPASSIONATE “CHANGE AGENT” (or “FUTURE CHANGE AGENT”)? If so, here is an awesome learning opportunity for YOU!

The U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Office, for the Northern District of Ohio and District of Minnesota, is hosting a Lunch and Learn, designed to provide helpful information for those seeking a prosperous career as a U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Officer. We have assembled an outstanding panel who can offer insight which may assist in your journey. For an invitation to attend this virtual event, registration is REQUIRED!

Lunch and Learn Series
Becoming a U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Officer
December 4, 2020
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. CST

Hosted by Robin Grimes Chief U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Officer Northern District of Ohio and Kito J. Bess Chief U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Officer District of Minnesota

With Panelists Michael Klug, Chief U.S. Probation Officer , Eastern District of Wisconsin; Dwight Wharton, Chief U.S. Probation Officer, Southern District of Indiana; and more.

Participant Registration Form

APPA’s 2021 Winter Virtual Training Institute: Free Registration Drawing for POPAI Members

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on 11/23/2020 by POPAI

As an affiliate member of the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA), POPAI is excited to announce that we are sponsoring some of our members to attend APPA’s Virtual Training Institute for FREE!!!  The total number of POPAI members we’ll sponsor depends on the number of entries we receive.

APPA’s 2021 Winter Training Institute will be held virtually starting Monday, February 22nd through February 26th, 2021.  The current schedule and list of workshops is not available yet, but it will be posted on APPA’s website soon.

Free registration to attend the 2021 Winter Training Institute will be provided to several POPAI members!  Click here to enter: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/POPAI-APPA2021WINTER.

By entering your name in the random drawing you agree that:

  1. You are a POPAI member in good standing.
  2. You will pay or you have already paid your 2021 membership dues.
  3. You have permission from your supervisor and will attend APPA’s 2021 Winter Virtual Training Institute held February 22-26, 2021.

Entries must be received by Friday, January 22, 2021 at 12:00 PM EST using the link above. All randomly drawn winners will be notified via email around February 1, 2021.

Contact any POPAI Board Member with questions or to thank them for providing another cool membership perk!  Good luck!

FSSA Announces Pilot Programs Designed To Treat Hoosiers Involved In The Justice System

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WBIW on 11/6/2020

(INDIANAPOLIS) — The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction today announced a series of pilot programs designed to increase access to mental health care for inmates in Indiana county jails.

The pilot programs will focus on individuals found incompetent to stand trial who are awaiting placement in the state psychiatric hospital network. Currently and historically in Indiana, these individuals are forced to await the availability of a bed in a state psychiatric hospital before they can receive the competency restoration services required by law. DMHA’s pilot programs will work with a variety of partners to provide these services in three new, and different settings: jails, the community, and private inpatient psychiatric settings.

Order on Continued Emergency Actions Issued by the Indiana Supreme Court

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Indiana Supreme Court on 11/10/2020 by Indiana Supreme Court

As case numbers continue rising in Indiana and are causing more impact within court systems, the Supreme Court issued an order on November 10 with instructions for judges on safely operating their courts. IOCS has prepared a memo with guidance and procedures to help implement that order. Continue to check the COVID-19 website. Contact Jeff Wiese for assistance.

Indiana Department Of Correction To Provide Naloxone To Offenders Upon Release

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WBIW on 11/10/2020

The Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) today announced it will make the opioid reversal agent naloxone available to each offender upon release from an IDOC facility.

“Expanding the availability of naloxone to all offenders upon release from one of our correctional facilities is one way we can ensure these individuals a smooth transition back into the community as contributing members of society, forever removed from justice-involved settings,” said Dr. Kristen Dauss, IDOC Chief Medical Officer. “Substance use disorder is a disease, and IDOC plays a critical role in connecting people to the quality treatment they need.”

In Defense Of Data-Based Pretrial Risk Assessment

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Law360 on 11/8/2020 by Madeline Carter and Alison Shames

Across the country, a rapidly increasing number of states, counties and cities have undertaken ambitious efforts to improve the way decisions are made about who is released and who is detained before trial.

Their sense of urgency is driven by the fact that our nation’s jails are filled with people charged with low-level offenses who are detained because they are unable to meet nominal financial conditions of release and not because they were likely to fail to appear in court or be arrested for another offense. Meanwhile, many of the very small proportion of people who may, in fact, pose a threat to community safety often pay their money bond and are quickly released.

These states legalized recreational marijuana on Election Day

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USA Today on 11/4/2020 by Jay Cannon

Americans were still waiting for clarity on the presidential race Wednesday morning. Perhaps lost in the frantic haze of election night was the legalization of recreational marijuana in four states.

Arizona, New Jersey, South Dakota and Montana all passed legislation Tuesday permitting the possession of weed by adults, which means 15 states have legalized recreational weed or voted to legalize it.

South Dakota and Mississippi passed initiatives to allow medical marijuana, which means 36 states permit the legal distribution of medical weed, according to a tally by NORML, a nonprofit marijuana public advocacy group.

From Marijuana To Mushrooms, Voters Want Drug Laws Eased

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NPR on 11/04/2020 by Dustin Jones

In states across the country, voters sent a clear message they wanted restrictions on recreational drug use eased. On Tuesday, residents of Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota voted to join the ranks of 11 other states that have done so.

In 2012, Colorado and Washington made the leap to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Colorado has collected $1.23 billion in marijuana taxes and fees since 2014, including more than $302 million last year alone. Washington eclipsed Colorado that same year, collecting $395.5 million.

Oregon, which legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2014, went a step further Tuesday and voted to decriminalize illicit drugs. Measure 110 makes the possession of small quantities of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines and other drugs a civil violation subject to a $100 fine, but no jail time. However, the measure does not go so far as to decriminalize the manufacture or sale of drugs.

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California’s Probation and Parole Reform Successes Webinar: 11/17 at 4:00 PM

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From Executives Transforming Probation and Parole (EXiT):

California’s Probation and Parole Reform Successes

California Reform Webinar: California has passed legislation that addresses several of EXiT’s policy aims, including shortening supervision terms (both at sentencing and via earned time credits), and eliminating supervision fees. This public-facing webinar will highlight those legislative efforts, discuss why such reforms are necessary, and share plans for implementation and further reform.

California has recently considered and/or passed several measures that reform probation and parole, including limiting supervision terms for both probation and parole, expanding earned time credits, and eliminating supervision fees. This webinar will highlight these legislative efforts, discuss why such reforms are necessary, and share plans for implementation and further reform.


This webinar is hosted by the Columbia University Justice Lab in conjunction with EXiT: Executives Transforming Probation and Parole. EXiT is a network of 90 current and former probation and parole executives who have committed to making supervision smaller, less punitive, and more hopeful, equitable, and restorative. California’s reforms align with several of EXiT’s policy aims.

We hope you will join us for a lively conversation with advocates and system leaders on November 17 – please register below. Full speaker list to be announced shortly.


DCS: Contracted employees may have falsified drug test results

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WRTV on 10/29/2020 by Kare Kenney

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Child Services said Thursday that contracted employees may have falsified drug-screening records.

Drug screenings are used for many types of court cases involving DCS, including juvenile matters, Child in Need of Services (CHINS), and termination of parental rights.

It’s not yet clear how many cases may be impacted or in which counties.

International Network for Criminal Justice Podcast with Michael Nail, NAPE President

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Criminal Justice Network on 10/2020

Criminal Justice Network @intcjnetwork shared a podcast  with Michael Nail, commissioner @GeorgiaDCS about the challenge of leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This podcast is the fourth of a series about the challenge posed to leaders by the COVID-19 crisis. The people working in the criminal justice system at the frontline across the world are facing unique issues in keeping services going and protecting the public.  It follows that their leaders are also facing unique challenges. John Scott wants to find out how leaders and organizations are responding to COVID-19.  It is a chance to share experiences and problems, but also to hear stories about creativity and changes.  How are you responding to ‘The Covid19 Leadership Challenge?’

In this episode John talks with Michael Nail, the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Supervision (DCS). In his role, Michael is responsible for leading the day-to-day operations of one of the USA’s largest community supervision agencies, which is comprised of over 2000 employees responsible for the adult felony supervision of over 200,000 individuals.

Purdue Pharma to plead guilty in $8bn opioid settlement

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BBC on 10/21/2020 by Natalie Sherman

The maker of OxyContin painkillers has reached an $8.3bn (£6.3bn) settlement and agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges to resolve a probe of its role in fuelling America’s opioid crisis.

Purdue Pharma will admit to enabling the supply of drugs “without legitimate medical purpose”.

The deal with US Department of Justice resolves some of the most serious claims against the firm.

But it still faces thousands of cases brought by states and families.

Purdue called the deal an “essential” step to wider resolution of the matter.

“Purdue deeply regrets and accepts responsibility for the misconduct detailed by the Department of Justice,” said Steve Miller, who joined Purdue’s board as chairman in July 2018, shortly before the firm sought protection from the litigation by filing for bankruptcy.

Michigan Poison Center issues warning about ‘purple heroin’

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School of Medicine News on 10/14/2020

The Michigan Poison Center at the Wayne State University School of Medicine wants the public to be aware of recent reports involving “purple heroin” identified in Michigan.

“Purple heroin” has been linked to several overdose cases in the Upper Peninsula and one overdose-related death in Van Buren County. Samples sent to the Michigan State Police Laboratory for testing have identified several components of this product, including fentanyl, niacinamide, acetaminophen, flualprazolam, buspirone and brorphine. Brorphine is s a new non-fentanyl synthetic opioid identified in “purple heroin” and has been implicated in the death in Van Buren County.

At this time, it is not known if “purple heroin” is colored before or after arrival in Michigan. The significance of the color is unknown.

The risks of using opioids and synthetic opioids such as brorphine is known and of deep concern to Poison Centers and other health care professionals.

Evaluating the Impact of Probation and Parole Home Visits (2019)

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National Institute of Corrections

In 2014, Abt Associates began work on a grant from the National Institute of Justice to evaluate the effectiveness of home and field contacts in community supervision. The study was designed to describe the varying practices of home and other field contacts in community supervision, to document their use nationwide, and to evaluate their effectiveness in maintaining public safety and promoting compliance with supervision requirements. Abt’s research is designed to address the gap in our understanding of home and field contacts as part of community supervision.