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Sitting at desks just part of a Probation Officer’s job

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Newark Advocate
Author: Bethany Bruner

NEWARK – Their leader calls them the “Secret Service” of the Licking County Courthouse.

But these 13 men and women are not the Secret Service. They’re the probation officers working in the Adult Court Services Department.

Located in offices in Pataskala, the Licking County Justice Center and the Licking County Courthouse, the probation department is handling more than 1,000 cases each year.

The Advocate followed two officers, Walter Barnes and Will Champlin, over a period of two days earlier this week to learn more about what being a probation officer really entails.

Neither Barnes nor Champlin set out to become a probation officer, but both have found homes with the department.

Barnes has been a probation officer since 2008, when he left the Licking County Sheriff’s Office after 15 years there. He supervises all probationers who are on pretrial bond, or haven’t been sentenced yet. He also helps with cases that cross state lines.

Champlin deals with a smaller caseload, about 50 active cases on average, of offenders who have been sentenced to community control. Most of his cases involve some offenders with some form of chemical dependency or addiction.

For both Champlin and Barnes, being able to make a difference is a big reason why they enjoy their jobs.

All Courts Shall Be Open

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Indiana Court Times
Author: Kathryn Dolan

Continued emphasis on fair and impartial justice as Dickson transfers leadership to Rush

23-4-rush-conf-rm On June 11, 2014, Brent E. Dickson announced he would step down as Chief Justice of Indiana before September first and continue serving as an Associate Justice on the five-member Supreme Court. When Dickson informed the Judicial Nominating Commission of his plans, he said, “It has been a great joy and a privilege to have helped continue the Court’s tradition of excellence—especially with four hard-working colleagues who are devoted to the law.” He further observed, “I am looking forward to being able to spend most of my time in legal research, deciding cases, and writing opinions.” Justice Dickson faces mandatory retirement effective in July 2016 when he turns 75.

Dickson became Chief Justice in May 2012 after serving as Acting Chief Justice following the retirement of Randall T. Shepard. The Commission unanimously voted for Dickson—who had served on the Court for 26 years as an Associate Justice—to become Chief Justice. A public investiture ceremony took place in August 2012.
Appointed to the Court in 1986 as the 100th Justice, Dickson had been urged to accept the position to provide stability and continuity to the judicial branch. Dickson explained, “Knowing that my tenure as Chief Justice was limited, each Associate Justice has actively participated in much of the administrative responsibilities and decisions of the office of Chief Justice.” He observed, “The time is right for this transition. The Court and state will be well served when one of my colleagues is selected as the next Chief Justice.”

SAVE THE DATES: POPAI Fall Training 2015 & 2016

Author: Linda Brady, POPAI President

Dear POPAI Members:

POPAI has sought input from our members regarding the location of the Annual Fall Conference via Poll Questions on the POPAI website, as well as through feedback forms at all of the POPAI trainings held in 2013 and 2014.

POPAI recently asked all Indiana Chief POs to take a survey regarding the location of our Fall Conference.   Chiefs were asked to provide an ESTIMATE of how many potential POs would attend the 2015 conference based on LOCATION.

The results of the Chief PO survey are contained in the letter I sent to the POPAI Membership in October 2014.

POPAI President Letter to membership re location of annual conference

french-lick1Based on extensive feedback from our membership including the recent Chief PO survey, the POPAI Board has entered into an agreement with the French Lick Springs Resort to hold the POPAI Annual Fall Conference there in 2015 and 2016.  Both years were booked simultaneously to save money and lock down rates that are beneficial to the POPAI organization and its members.


2015 September 16, 17, and 18.

2016 September 7, 8, and 9.

Thank you.

Linda Brady, POPAI President

In-your-face Indiana boot camp gets teens out of trouble

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Indy Star
Author: Mike Fender

635509791046950283-06-Challenge-AcademyKarina Bowling showed only a hint of a smile — and she was in trouble.


Karina had already been kicked out of school. She was on a life course headed for jail, she admits. But this time it was different.

Two military-style drill sergeants, called cadre, were in her face, shouting, furious, arms flailing, voices piercing because she had dared to smile. They were so close “they were spitting in my face,” Karina recalls.

Karina, 16 at the time, struggled to hold back tears.


Adding Positive Reinforcement In Justice Settings

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Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment-National Library of Medicine
April 2012
Author: Danielle Rudes, Faye Taxman, Shannon Portillo, Amy Murphy, Anne Rhodes, Maxine Stitzer, Peter Luongo, Peter Friedmann

Researchers have long recommended expanding treatment options for those with a drug abuse history, leading to the founding and proliferation of drug courts and other treatment diversion programs.  The effectiveness of such programs has varied across the horizon as some jurisdictions continue to rely on traditional criminal justice sanction systems, while others endorse newer evidence-based practices.

One such approach that has shown to be a promising method for initiating drug abstinence is Contingency Management (CM).  CM is an incentive-based intervention specifically designed to alter individual behavior(s) by systematically dispensing contingent rewards.   CM’s underlying principles suggests that a person is more likely to continue certain behaviors if they receive positive reinforcement for doing so. Likewise, behaviors that typically would receive punishment are discontinued as the individual replaces the pleasure from receiving rewards. CM rewards positive choices/behaviors as a tool to shape behavior. Systematic reviews confirm the general overall positive findings from using CM in drug treatment settings.


Kinsey Youth Center sees uptick in mentally ill kids

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Kokomo Tribune
October 19, 2014

543d89b8a91b7.imageWhen Erik May started working as the referee for Howard County Circuit Court’s juvenile court eight years ago, he said it was rare to see children younger than 15 run up against the criminal justice system.

“If the juvenile was younger than 13, I’d look at our prosecutor and say, ‘Why the heck am I dealing with a 12-year-old?” May said. “It was unheard of, and I was uncomfortable with it.”

That’s no longer the case. Now, he said, it’s not uncommon to see children as young as 8 years old showing up in juvenile court for beating up other kids or other criminal offenses.