WAYNE COUNTY—Helping to reintegrate recent county offenders into society, members of Wayne County's probation offices were honored for their efforts last Thursday, July 25, during Probation and Parole Supervision Week.

In their day-to-day operations, probation workers observe parolees and conduct several investigations for the court including pre-sentencing, pre-parole and others.

“That's usually a lot of our work, at least over 50 percent,” explained Chief Adult Probation Officer, Jim Chapman.

Probation officers also oversee the electronic monitoring and community service programs, and are responsible for collecting fees, fines and restitutions imposed by the court.

“We have two clerks that do a fine job,” said Chapman. “We really are on top of our game with that. We don't minimize that. That's part of the punishment.”

Chapman explained with the implementation of the Wayne County Drug Treatment Court and the Intermediate Punishment Program, recidivism—the likelihood that a prior offender will commit another crime and be imprisoned again—has been reduced.

“A lot of people have been helped, and that's what it's all about,” said Chapman.

Both the Drug Treatment Court and the Intermediate Punishment Program allow for non-violent offenders to be released from incarceration into their daily lives, following strict guidelines aimed to rehabilitate them.

Calling the Intermediate Punishment Program “innovative thinking” and “being proactive,” Commissioner Chairman Brian Smith stated it “...keeps people with their families, keeps people in their jobs, keeps people able to provide for their families.”

Smith commended the probation officers for their dedication to the justice system, stating “I hope the public can appreciate all that...the probation officers do, because it really is a tremendous effort...”

Commissioner Wendell Kay noted the myriad duties performed by county probation officers is “...a very technical undertaking,” involving understanding of court procedure, the Pennsylvania Crimes Code and updates to applicable programming and sentencing guidelines.

Speaking to his time dealing with the probation office as an attorney, Kay noted it always displayed a “sense of professionalism...”

He added, “We never had to be concerned about anything other than the utmost respect for the system, for the court and for the participants.”

Commissioner Joseph Adams reiterated the role the probation office plays in reintegrating offenders with their lives and families “...to be productive citizens...”

Adams further noted “It's an enormous savings to the taxpayers to be able to have somebody go back out, take care of their family...”

He added such reintegrated individuals alleviate the burden on public assistance programs and also save “...the enormous amount of dollars it would take to keep everybody in jail.”

“Hat's off for doing a great job!”