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 2019 Knepple Scholarship Winner is Elizabeth Darenski of LaPorte County Adult Probation.
Elizabeth is presently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology from Walden University. In a letter of support, Judge Thomas Alevizos stated “Elizabeth exemplifies the duty of a Probation Officer in her work ethic and willingness to help those on her caseload. She excels at working with mentally ill offenders and has gone above and beyond in trying to get them the care they need, while still holding them accountable for their behavior.”
Judge Jeffrey Thorne states Elizabeth “is certainly committed to her position as a Probation Officer and to the fair and equal administration of justice.”
When asked about how the scholarship would benefit her in her career of probation, she stated: “Working towards my Master’s in Forensic Psychology is allowing me to see what new research is present and what best practices are happening within the psychology field in regards to those involved in the criminal justice system. Part of my upcoming curriculum is looking at corrections and mental health.” and “My hope is to be able to collaborate with treatment providers within my community to give my probationers the best chance at successful completion of probation and life.”