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Compassion Fatigue in Probation

Full Article

National Institute of Corrections
Author: Lori Whitten

Probation Officers’ Stress and Burnout Associated With Caseload Events

Compassion fatigue is a combination of burnout and secondary trauma that can significantly decrease our effectiveness at work and in life.  Anyone who works with people in distress on a regular basis is at risk.  This is not a medical disease, but if ignored can develop into depression, anxiety, substance abuse or a host of other medical conditions.  Thankfully, there are realistic strategies to combat compassion fatigue and simple awareness is one of the most important.

In addition, education and orientation programs can help officers identify possible caseload events and anticipate their personal impact, allowing officers to identify early signs of stress and burnout, engage in anticipatory coping, and seek support when needed. Such programs can mitigate the negative impacts of caseload events, enhance the resiliency of probation officers, and improve their ability to implement evidence-based practices and their overall quality of work.

2015 POPAI Management Institute and Chief PO Summit SAVE THE DATES

Author: Susan Rice

At the link below please find a flyer with information on the 2015 POPAI Management Institute and Chief PO Summit.

We wanted to get these dates to you early since they are much later in the year than usual.  Hopefully we can avoid the bad weather next year!

Please share this information with other supervisory level staff in your department.

More details will follow.  Hope to see you all there.

Sincerely,  Susan Rice, CPO, Miami County Probation



County sheriffs tell dire stories of mentally ill held in local jails

Full Article

The Indiana Lawyer
Author: Marilyn Odendahl

From different communities in different parts of Indiana, two county sheriffs told lawmakers very similar stories about the mentally ill individuals who end up in their jails.

Howard County Sheriff Steve Rogers and Franklin County Sheriff Kenneth Murphy were frank in their assessment that the local jails are not equipped to handle the severely mentally ill people who are arrested again and again.

They pointed to the closure of state mental hospitals in the 1980s in favor of privatizing treatment as exasperating the situation. Many of the mentally ill individuals being arrested are not able to get help outside of jail because they have no money or insurance to pay for treatment at a private facility.

“We have become the mental health hospital for the United States,” Murphy said.

The General Assembly’s Interim Study Committee on Corrections and Criminal Code examined the issue of mental health issues in jails and prisons at its first meeting Sept. 15.

Man claims he robbed store to pay probation costs

Full Article

Highlands Today
September 16, 2014
Author: Jay Meisel

SEBRING — An Avon Park teenager who told authorities he robbed a convenience store clerk to get money to pay his $500 probation fine will spend the next 10 years in prison, a judge decided this week.

“I felt like I needed the money to, you know, pay off my probation and stuff,” Jalen Williams told a Highlands County Sheriff’s Office investigator earlier this year. He also said he used some of the money from the robbery to buy marijuana and then planned to sell it to make more money.

At the time Williams robbed the convenience store, he was on probation for having committed robbery in 2013.

Cook Co. IL Probation Officer For Teen Charged With Assaulting CSU Student Suspended

Full Article

CBS Chicago
Author: CBS

The probation officer for the teen charged with sexually assaulting a pregnant Chicago State student and forcing her into a car trunk has been suspended.

The person charged in that crime, 17-year-old Aaron Parks, was on home confinement with electronic monitoring at the time after being charged as a juvenile in July of carjacking a woman at gunpoint.

According to a news release by Rose Golden, the Director of Juvenile Probation and Court Services Department for the Circuit Court of Cook County, “a preliminary review of probation department records indicates that electronic monitoring procedures were not followed. The officer responsible for monitoring Mr. Parks has been placed on temporary suspension pending investigation.”

IACCAC Fall Training Institute Announcement


The 2014 Indiana Association of Community Corrections Act Counties (IACCAC) Fall Training Institute registration is now open.  The registration form and tentative conference agenda are attached below for your convenience.  This information is also available on the Association website:

2014 IACCAC FTI Tentative Agenda (8-29-2014)

2014 IACCAC Conference registration

Reservations must be received by the Hyatt Regency no later than October 28, 2014 to guarantee room availability and room rates.  Also, please be sure to mention you are with the IACCAC Fall Training Institute.  The group rate is $95.00 per night.  The Hyatt Regency reservations number is (800)633-7313.  For your convenience you may also register online at:

The self-parking rate is $25.00/day and valet parking rate is $34.00/day.  Please be advised the maximum height for vehicles in the hotel parking garage is 6 feet 2 inches.


October 10, 2014:  IACCAC achievement award nomination deadline.

October 24, 2014:  Conference registration deadline to receive regular rate.

October 25, 2014:  Registrations received on or after this date, add $25.00 late registration fee.

October 28, 2014:  Hyatt Regency room registration deadline.

October 31, 2014:  Election nomination deadline (by 4:00 p.m. EST).

Judge James Fox concerned over budget cuts

Full Article

Fox 28
Author: Amanda Skrzypchak


Recent budget cuts to the Juvenile Justice Center of St. Joseph County has probate Judge James Fox worried about the area’s at risk youth. The center was asked to cut three percent of the remainder of their 2014 budget, forking over nearly 160,000 dollars.

The center is expected to cut even more in 2015.

In January, the center was ranked first with 44 inmates. Executive Director of the St. Joseph County probate court for the Juvenile Justice Center, Pete Morgan, credits the drop in it’s inmate population to the Juvenile Detention Alternative initiative.

Former probation official William Burke asks for court-appointed lawyer to handle appeals

Full Article

The Republican
September 5, 2014
Author: Shira Schoenberg

Former Probation Department deputy commissioner William Burke has gone into debt to pay the legal bills related to his trial for helping to run a rigged hiring scheme at the Massachusetts Probation Department, according to a court filing by his attorney, John Amabile. He is now asking for a court-appointed attorney.

Burke was convicted in July of racketeering conspiracy for his role in a scheme in which top probation officials hired job candidates based on political connections, not merit, in order to get better budgets and legislative favors for the Probation Department, then lied on forms certifying the hires were done correctly.

Justice Brent Dickson Receives POPAI Founder’s Award


thumb-faPOPAI is honored to announce the 2014 Founder’s Award was presented to Justice Brent E. Dickson of the Indiana Supreme Court.

The POPAI Founder’s Award recognizes individuals who have significantly contributed to the field of probation in general and specifically to the POPAI organization and who are characterized by their commitment of influence and promotion of professionalism to Indiana probation.  Without question, Justice Dickson’s leadership has been an asset to the judiciary in Indiana.  He has also been a champion advocating for increased state-level resources for probation.  He has proven to be a fierce supporter of evidence-based practices in probation.

Justice Dickson was appointed to the Indiana Supreme Court in January 1986.  He became Chief Justice of Indiana on May 15, 2012 when former Chief Justice Randall Shepard retired.

Justice Dickson has proven to be an effective leader.  He has demonstrated a longstanding interest in fostering civility.  In his remarks during his swearing-in as Chief Justice, he stated, “We are determined to ‘wage civility’ at every opportunity—in the collegiality of our own deliberations, in the mutual respect expressed in our majority and dissenting opinions, and in our outreach to enhance civility in lawyers and trial judges.  In our administrative responsibilities, we are committed to continuing, with renewed energy, the Court’s best practices and openness to creative innovations, with fiscal responsibility.”

He served on the Indiana Criminal Code Evaluation Commission where he fully supported the focus on evidence-based practices that, as he stated “can make our criminal justice system more effective in protecting public safety, reducing repeat criminal activity, enabling offender reformation, and at the same time substantially reducing incarceration costs.”  He supported the resulting legislation, House Bill 1006.

During Justice Dickson’s’ first State of the Judiciary Address in 2013, he cited numerous ways in which he and the Indiana Supreme Court justices supported initiatives that improved probation in Indiana.  They supported deployment of the Odyssey Supervision (probation case management) System in counties that had requested the system and expressed the intent of the Supreme Court “to do everything we can to bring our Odyssey system as soon as possible to every county that wants it.”  He also noted the support of the Indiana Supreme Court for the new Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, a reform effort that strengthens the juvenile justice system by focusing on a variety of ways to reduce reliance on detention.“

In 2012 during his first year as Chief Justice, he advocated for increased funding and state level resources for probation in Indiana.  He was the first Indiana Chief Justice to request that the Indiana General Assembly include funding for probation officers in the Supreme Court’s budget.  Specifically, he requested funding for the salaries for all Indiana Chief Probation Officers.  Further, he requested that the Indiana General Assembly provide increased funding for probation officer training so that all probation officers in the state would have access to free training in evidence-based correctional practices.

Justice Dickson has been a strong supporter of evidence-based correctional practices.  He has been an advocate of the development of the Indiana Risk Assessment System and Indiana Youth Assessment System.  Justice Dickson was instrumental in including probation officers on the special task force that assisted the Supreme Court to adopt procedures to successfully implement the adult and juvenile risk assessment systems across the state.  He has also appointed probation officers on other important committees such as the committee that is working to implement a state system to utilize sanctions and reinforcers/incentives and the committee that is working to develop case plans in INcite.

In his final year as Chief Justice, he again sought to increase resources for probation in Indiana by requesting funds to pay the salaries for all county Chief Probation Officers.  This would be a first step toward increasing state support for Indiana probation.

Congratulations to Justice Dickson for receiving the 2014 Founder’s Award.

POPAI Presents Line PO of the Year Award to Dave Williams


davePOPAI proudly announces that the inaugural Line Probation Officer of the Year award was presented to Dave Williams of Hamilton County.

Dave started as a PO with Hamilton County in October 1997.  He supervised offenders and wrote Presentence Investigation Reports.

The letters of support sent on Dave’s behalf for this award state that Dave was outstanding in his probation officer duties.

In 2011, Hamilton County began using the Odyssey Probation Supervision system.  Dave worked closely with the Judicial Technology and Automation Committee (JTAC) to improve the functionality and capability of the Odyssey Supervision system.   Dave’s improvements to Odyssey has allowed the department to do research to determine if their correctional practices are reducing recidivism.

Dave has automated every adult and juvenile document used by the department.  He was instrumental in creating a “virtual library,” a place where all probation officers have easy and immediate access to all probation resources.

Dave was nominated for this award by his entire department and all of the local judges.  POPAI also received letters of support for his nomination from Chief Probation Officers around the state who expressed gratitude for Dave’s help with deploying the Odyssey Supervision system in their counties.

Congratulations to Dave for his selection as Line Probation Officer of the Year.

POPAI Presents Rookie PO of the Year Award to Melanie Strode


melaniePOPAI is proud to announce that the inaugural Rookie Probation Officer of the Year award was presented to Melanie Strode of Harrison County.

Melanie joined the Harrison County Superior Court Probation Department in November 2013.

The letters of support sent on Melanie’s behalf for this award state that Melanie has distinguished herself as a person with enthusiasm and a passion for guiding clients to a better path.  She is appropriately stern with her clients while being compassionate.

A client who reported to Melanie’s office under the influence of alcohol and who was held accountable by her sent a letter to her, thanking her for how she helped him to get back on the road to sobriety.

Melanie is a self-starter, takes initiative, and routinely asks her Chief PO for more work to gain experience.    Her Chief describes her as “outstanding.”

A co-worker of Melanie stated, “She will definitely be Probation Officer of the Year next!”

Congratulations to Melanie for her selection as Rookie Probation Officer of the Year.

POPAI “Members Only” Discussion Forum Now Ready


POPAI has just launched a “Members Only” discussion page.

We plan to start using this page to share policies, procedures, forms/templates, and general questions.   This “Members Only” area was requested by our membership and we’re glad to facilitate a good conversation. This addition is for your benefit, so please…..feel free to ask questions and suggest topics that will help you.

Also, we will be posting various important items such as draft legislation throughout the upcoming 2015 Legislative session.  This will be an important session as the biennial state budget will be passed.

POPAI has also been invited to participate in various groups that are advocating for more state funding for probation. We will be posting Minutes from these groups under this “Members Only” section.

As a starting place, POPAI will limit access to the “Members Only” area to Chief POs, Assistant Chief POs, Probation Supervisors, and other probation staff members who function in a management/supervisory capacity.

To participate, first and foremost, you must be a POPAI member.  We very much hope that ALL Chief POs participate in this “Members Only” discussion area so that we may exchange ideas, policies, procedures, programs and other important information.

This area is moderated and password protected for POPAI Members only.  Please report any questionable content our website administrator Karen Oeding.

To get started on our Member Discussion Page  POPAI Members are welcome to email Karen with your name and email address to register.  Karen will send you an email when she has verified your membership and added your information.

Contact Karen with questions or any Board Member with concerns.

We look forward to a lively discussion on any topic that you may raise!

Revised POPAI By-laws Approved, Membership Year to Change

Author: Linda Brady, POPAI President

Dear POPAI Membership:

The POPAI Bylaws were amended at the POPAI Annual business meeting on September 4, 2014.  The primary change to the by-laws involves the membership year.  See below.


It has become increasingly difficult for POPAI members, Chief Probation Officers, and office managers/bookkeepers to keep track of when POPAI membership dues must be paid. To make dues payments simpler to track, the POPAI by-laws have been revised so that the membership year will run on the calendar year starting January 1, 2015.

To encourage POPAI members  to pay their 2015 dues early,  2015 dues paid between September 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014 will extend membership until the end of 2014 AND through the full calendar year 2015.

You can review the revised POPAI Bylaws at the following link:  POPAI Bylaws 2014 APPROVED 9-4-14 FINAL

Judge Burge orders county to hire security for Adult Probation facilities (Lorian Co., Ohio)

Full Article

The Chronicle-Telegram
Author: Brad Dicken

ELYRIA — Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge has ordered the county commissioners to provide $124,953 to cover projected security costs for the county’s Adult Probation Department forthe final three months of the year.

The money is to be turned over to county Sheriff Phil Stammitti by Sept. 13 so he can begin providing security at the entrances to the old Lorain County Courthouse and the old Columbia Gas Building, where the Probation Department has offices.

Burge said he expects the security would be in place around Oct. 1.

Stammitti has estimated that it would cost $396,356 per year to hire four full-time deputies and three part-time deputies and buy equipment to provide security at the two locations. The cost would drop by about $8,000 after the first year once the equipment is purchased.old Lorain County Courthouse on June 25.   Steve Manheim