Driving County Roads

An on line journal sharing my views. The content reflects my background as a rural person employed in agriculture and as a retired elected official of local government.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Report from Nicollet County Probation Department

At the last board meeting, Steve Kley Department Head for Probation Department presented his annual report. Some of the significant information follows.

  • In 2006, the department developed two new programs. Through a realignment of some caseloads and workload, the department began an adult, gender specific caseload for females. Research is showing that females in the criminal justice system bring a very different and unique set of backgrounds and challenges that need to be addressed in an unconventional way. One of the staff volunteered to become trained in a curriculum that is available and has taken on the assignment of the gender specific caseload.
  • Another program that is new is addressing offenders at the pre-trial stage. The concept is that this program has the potential to alleviate some of the jail population issues the county has been dealing with.
  • Everyone is happy with the reports regarding the Sentence to Service program. Kley gives much of the credit to the success of the program to Kevin Stolt, the crew chief. Kley said, "Kevin really works the phones" and that is what it takes to maintain fully staffed crews and valuable jobs to match with the crews. The 2006 report shows a doubling of the hours worked by the crews and a value of $54,823 for the completed projects. This figure is determined by asking the recipient of the work (for example a township) how much the task would have cost if it was hired out. It is determined that 482 jail days were saved through this program. An additional benefit is that this work experience is adding value to the lives and experiences of the crew members. Many of them need to learn how to work and they need to learn simple habits like being on time, reporting in, and other valuable life skills. This program is beneficial in many ways. end.

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