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Donald “Charley” Knepple Scholarship Award Winner: Rachael A. Scott


Each year, POPAI provides a scholarship in memory of probation officer Donald “Charley” Knepple.  Charley lost his life on April 28, 1997, while performing his probation officer duties in Allen County, Indiana.

In an effort to honor an outstanding professional and to promote further professionalism, POPAI selected a scholarship that would encourage continued education and advanced degrees for probation officers in our state.

The 2017 recipient of the Donald “Charley” Knepple Scholarship is Rachael A. Scott of the Monroe County Probation Department.

Rachael is presently studying Public Administration with a concentration in Criminal Justice at Indiana State University. Rachael states that she will be using her degree to successfully apply advanced knowledge of human resource practices while also providing a foundation for grant writing and meeting departmental budgetary needs.  In the letters of support, Rachael’s  supervisor stated that she has developed a keen balance between holding offenders accountable and assisting them to develop skills that will help them lower their risk for future involvement with the criminal justice system. The Monroe Circuit Court 9 Judge stated Rachael embraces evidence-based practices. She is open to new approaches and stretching beyond her normal skills. Rachael builds cooperative working relationships with her clients, the courts, other probation officers in the department and with community agencies in order to develop and deploy action plans to best address her client’s needs.

POPAI congratulates Rachael A. Scott for this deserved recognition.

APPA announces a new resolution: Use of Monetary Judgments for Justice-Involved Individuals

on Enacted March 2017 by American Probation and Parole Association (APPA)

LINK to full Resolution

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Probation and Parole Association supports and encourages agencies to do the following:

  • Emphasize the payment of restitution owed to victims over other assessments, fines, fees and surcharges;
  • Obtain and provide payment ability information to the Court at the time release decisions are being made so as to avoid unfair economic hardship and continued incarceration as a result of inability to pay the bail amount;
  • Use actuarial risk assessments to provide information for release decisions so those lower risk individuals may be released pending court proceedings;
  • Take into consideration a justice-involved individual’s ability to pay prior to making a recommendation to the Court relating to discretionary financial assessments and monthly payment amounts;
  • Encourage legislators to revise State laws to enable Courts the discretion to waive certain fines and fees based on the an individual’s ability to pay, as well as eliminate interest rates and collection fees;
  • Re-evaluate a probationer’s ability to pay during the supervision period when financial circumstances change, and make requests of the Court to modify payment amounts based on that ability to pay;
  • Not recommend incarceration for any individual solely as a result of inability to pay Court-ordered financial sanctions;
  • Maximize the use of graduated responses as appropriate and as possible to address willful non-compliance with financial conditions of supervision to avoid incarceration and revocation proceedings; and
  • Use, as permitted by State law, the ability of the individual to complete community restitution hours to satisfy Court-ordered financial sanctions.

Monroe County inmates honored for educational achievements

Full Article

Herald Times on 5/23/2017 by Abby Tonsing

Monroe County Community School Corp. Superintendent Judy DeMuth, right, hands certificates to Monroe County Jail inmate Albert Jones Tuesday during the MCCSC Adult Education awards ceremony at the correctional center.

Monroe County Jail inmate Albert Jones served as the day’s valedictorian, of sorts.

Wearing a white trusty jumpsuit, rather than a cap and gown, he stood at a lectern in the jail’s classroom and read aloud from the poem he penned last week, called “Learning.”

It details growing up on the streets of Detroit, dismissing education as a teenager and admitting his mistake as an adult:

“It was a humbling experience to realize 30 years later that I was wrong. / Starting a new life this time with education as my foundation on which I can build.”

Tuesday afternoon, he received a National Adult Honor Society certificate, a National Career Readiness certificate and a College Ready certificate. Jones was one of nine Monroe County Jail inmates who attended a ceremony recognizing achievement in adult education courses provided by the Monroe County Community School Corp.

The program helps inmates with obtaining high school, or general education, diplomas. Classes in work skills are also offered, as are study sessions for entrance exams to community or four-year colleges.

This school year, 48 jail inmates spent 1,711 hours in MCCSC’s adult education program. Eight people received diplomas, and 21 people received national career-readiness certificates.

Seven people have been admitted to Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington, and five people have gotten jobs after leaving the jail, MCCSC’s director of adult education, Robert Moore, told the group.

“I love celebrating success,” Moore said. “And that is what you are being right now, successful.”

MCCSC Superintendent Judy DeMuth awarded the certificates to the inmates, while adult basic education teacher Chris Harmon shared each person’s academic accomplishments. Monroe County Sheriff Brad Swain gave a short speech, and Maj. Pam Moser used her phone to take photos.

There wasn’t a band to play “Pomp and Circumstance.” There were no tassels to move from the right side of a cap to the left. But the smiles of the inmates as they received the certificates they worked hard to earn rivaled the smiles of any graduate on the outside.

The following inmates joined Jones in receiving certificates during the brief ceremony Tuesday: Brenda Jay, Shanelle Keo, Kaitlyn Essick, Steve Short, Jordan Pence, Brian Thacker, Travis Combs and David Henderson.

“What I hope is this has given you all a boost in confidence and abilities,” the sheriff said. “Don’t let this be the highlight of your education. Keep going in making yourselves better.”

(The link to the original article requires subscription.)

Brain Injury and the Criminal Justice System

A two day seminar on Brain Injury and the Criminal Justice system will be presented at the Indiana Government Center and via webinar. There is no cost for attending.

For those attending in person, there will be different types medical and legal  continuing education credits.

June 27 – 28, Indiana Government Center Auditorium

BI in the Criminal Justice System Workshop Flyer – June 27-28 2017


Drug Task Force Lays Out Strategic Plan To Combat Opioid Epidemic

Full Article

WFYI Indianapolis on 05/18/2017 by Lindsey Wright

Indiana’s Commission to Combat Drug Abuse Thursday laid out a strategic plan to combat the state’s opioid epidemic.

Saving lives and expanding access to treatment are two of the highest priorities within the plan.

Jim McClelland, the executive director for drug treatment, prevention, and enforcement, says it’s all hands on deck in this fight.

“Substantially reducing the opioid crisis must be a team effort,” McClelland says. “Our efforts need to be aligned and our approaches need to be complimentary.”

Indiana received $10.9 million in funding through the 21st Century Cures Act. Kevin Moore, the director of mental health and addiction says the grants will go toward efforts such as prescription monitoring, anti-stigma campaigns, and peer support initiatives.