HONESDALE—The Wayne County Commissioners proclaimed July 16-22 to be Probation and Parole Supervision Week in Wayne County, citing it as “a time to recognize and celebrate the dedicated individuals in the community who work tirelessly to make neighborhoods safer and work together to give offenders a second chance to be productive members of society.”

Present to hear the Commissioners proclamation were workers in the county Adult Probation department including: Chief Adult Probation Officer James R. Chapman; Senior Adult Probation Officers Deanna J. DeNoie, Ryan Altemier, Keith Shaffer and Caitlin D. Schmitt; Adult Probation Officer Nicole Caterino; Institutional Parole Officer Sean McGraw; clerks Megan Weist, Brianna Black and Pasqualina Briggs; and intern Natalie Tamblyn.

Absent from the meeting were Adult Deputy Chief Probation Officer Jonathan J. Dunsinger, Senior Adult Probation Officer Lisa A. Salak and Office Manager Erica Verola.

Speaking on behalf of the department, Chapman stated that the department's chief responsibility includes performing pre-sentencing investigations in order to best inform the judge when passing judgement.

Chapman added that the probation department is also responsible for the supervision and reintegration of county parolees, of which he said there were over 400 individuals being served by his office.

“It's our job to work with them and help them to reintegrate into society safely and make sure they're held accountable to what they say they're gonna do,” he said

Chapman stated that in recent years, the focus of probationary observation has become increasingly needs driven.

Officers in the department spend a lot of time and encouragement helping their clients take the necessary steps to establish firm footing after the shake-up of incarceration, he said.

This has become increasingly vital to their jobs as they reintegrate drug offenders, helping them to move forward without falling back on old habits.

Board of Commissioners Chairman Brian Smith stated that he was grateful for all the department does not only within the confines of county business, but for individuals as well.

He commended their work in supervising those on probation and keeping track of all the clients they service, noting in particular how much combatting drugs has compounded their workload.

“What you do is meaningful and it really does help change lives,” he said.

Commissioner Wendell Kay added that, working out of the same building as the department each day, “we do hear all positives about your staff and yourself so we're really glad you were able to join us today.”

Kay said, “Your staff here gives a wonderful account of themselves in terms of the community but also for the system.”

In thanking the department, Commissioner Joseph Adams stated that the Adult Probation Office plays a major role in saving taxpayer money.

“If you weren't there to do what you do, more of the individuals that you serve would be in our jail costing probably ten to twenty times more money than it costs in the current scenario,” he stated.