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Ada Probation Agency Comes Under Scrutiny

The GUARDIAN has received a series of complaints of late regarding Ada County’s misdemeanor probation system and its private for-profit operating company.

While several of the complaints are admittedly from offenders who have gotten on the wrong side of the law, we find there is also a philosophical issue with the coppers who get caught in the middle when these private agents “violate” the probationers freedom and seek to put them in jail. The private contractors are not “peace officers” under the Idaho code, so they rely on local law enforcement to make arrests. This is supposedly done under some sort of blanket “standing court order.” Even to the coppers, it is confusing.

Our problem with giving ANY private company the authority to manage probation is the potential to keep people in the system in order to make a buck. It has the potential problems associated with private prisons, especially when the contract is worth several million dollars.

A condition of most court-ordered probation includes drug testing via urine analysis. Insiders tell us there are as many as 4,000 offenders in the probation system at any given time. They are required to pay at least $50 (soon to increase) to join the club and also for the cost of the drug tests.

Now we find through public records the Probation Director has incorporated a drug testing company at the same address as the Ada County Probation office. Ada Commishes are aware of the allegations and have launched an investigation into the operation of the office.

Below is the text of two messages the Ada Commishes are examining.
#1
It is time for an expose on Nancy Cladis and Ada County Misdemeanor Probation Services.  The Ada County Commissioners have awarded Nancy Cladis the contract to privatize misdemeanor probation enforcement for the last ten years, for millions of taxpayer dollars. 

Now, Nancy Cladis is starting her very own drug testing company so that she can refer probationers for drug testing at her company and make double her money!  (See new corporation filings with the Idaho Secretary of State dated
December 3, 2010.  “Accu-Lab, Inc”  888 N Cole Rd, Nancy Cladis, incorporator C189319. Same address as the probation office! 

#2
Is anyone at all monitoring ACMPS?  It has come to my attention that just before offenders are to be released from their misdemeanor probation sentence, a “dirty Urinalysis” or two pop up from months in the past.  All the U.A.’s are from Global Drug Testing.  GDT has a history of hiring under trained staff to handle this part of supervision.  U.A.’s are recorded wrong into the system and reported falsely to ACMPS, false positives are increasingly growing especially as offenders reach their sentence satisfaction. 

One individual in particular, just before her release off of probation came up “dirty” six times, but these six ua’s were never mentioned prior to the month before her release.  She paid the required $35 to have all six retested, and the p.o. only left her alone, after she threatened to take ACMPS back to court and speak with the press.  There are thousands of people on misdemeanor probation in Boise. Are the majority of these people going to be violated and put right back onto probation just before their sentences are finished? 

Some individuals are tested up to 4 times per week, at a minimum of $10 per test.  People do make mistakes, and need to pay for their crimes, but how much can a person, and their
family, be squeezed before ACMPS are satisfied.  It is turning into a very dangerous revolving door, but not due to re-offending, it is mostly due to the p.o.’s seeking more revenue and claiming wrongdoing on the part of the probationer.

Offenders can’t find out the (identity of) the secondary company who re-tests the “dirty” u.a.’s, it is all wrapped in mystery, none of their business.  What can be done?  This privately run organization does not have checks and balances against corruption in place. Offenders are at the behest of the director and her p.o.’s.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Take this to the commisioners.

  2. Wow, I had no idea there were websites like this, just found another called F__k the Boise City Police Department. Most replying sound like disgruntled ex-employees or people who have no faith in law enforcement or the criminal justice system. It does not seem to matter if it is run by government or privately. I for one, am thankful we have law enforcement officers and a criminal justice system to protect our community.

    Every organization has employees that come and go. Unfortunately, some end up like a bad divorse with agressive anger and blaming others. They find websites to vent. Others just do not know facts and love a scandal. We can not control what others say or do.

    Do websites like this not care what the facts are before printing an article. No one called me or came to Ada Probation asking any questions.

    I’ll try to answer most of the comments written.
    I sold a bail bond business in 1998 and have no profits coming from bail bonds.
    I do not have a drug testing facility at Ada County Probation and there has never been a profit for drug testing. In fact it has been an expense as we have issued many vouchers for indigent probationers having no money to ua at a lab. 98% go to labs in Boise we have no affiliation with.

    Earlier this year, the Idaho Misdemeanor Probation Planning Committee was presented by a drug testing facility offering equipment to probation offices across the state to perform their own ua’s at a lower cost to probationers. Officials in Ada County were also present. Others, including Ada County were impressed with this offer. Ada County Probation did indeed persue this using the name Accu-Lab, but it was never used after the negative comments were received.

    Labs in Boise charge from $10 to $90 for a test. This equipment could have performed tests for $7.50. One of the Probation Officers role in supervising offenders is testing offenders and referring for appropiate treatment when needed. 80% of our case load is alcohol or drug related crimes and it is our job to identify ones abusing drugs or alcohol. Do we want to allow a Dui offender to continue to drink and possibly drive again to harm others? Many DUI’s result in accidents and death.

    Issuing probation violations does not keep an offender in the system. They are entitled to a PV hearing to prove or deny allegations of their violations. A judge determines the appropiate sentence, not probation. Often they are returned to jail with revocation of probation or they are given another chance on probation, but it does not extend probation from the original sentence.

    New legislation this year resulted in Misdemeanor probation officers attending POST ACADEMY to become certified peace officers. Five officers in Ada County have succcessfully graduated and the remainder will attend this next year.

    As for a corrupt privatized misdemeanor probation office, this simply is not true. It is overseen by the BOCC, the trial court administrator, prosecutors, judges and others. These are very intelligent people that would not allow this.

    Just one year ago, several new proposals were submitted to Ada County for misdemeanor probation. It is not a multi million dollar contract. After a complete investigation of probation and votes from many members of the judicial system, Ada County Misdemeanor Probation was again awarded with the contract and signed by all three commissioners.

    Moving on, I am retiring from Misdemeanor Probation in one year and it will be placed under county government. We are proud of the work we all do at probation and the success stories we have witnessed.

    As for the survey cards, there is absolutely no obligation to ever fill out surveys. If a probation officer made you feel uncomfortable with this, please let me know and I will talk to that officer. We do surveys daily at misdemeanor probation. Most all agree to fill out their exit surveys also (15,000 of them). This enables us to learn from the probationers what works and what does not work. Most other organizations and departments do surveys also.

    If I was unable to answer any comments, I would be happy to respond if it is not hostile. The doors are always open at probation and we welcome non hostile individuals to tour probation and answer questions you might have.

    In reviewing this POST it appears about 25 different people responded. I guess I feel a little better there are 500,000 plus citizens in Ada County and 19,000 probationers going through misdemeanor probation that did not have negative things to say.

  3. This is a joke!!
    Oct 1, 2011, 9:04 am

    The comissioners have all the info they need!! only one is willing to do anything about it!!!!

  4. This “survey” is a feeble attempt to blow her own horn. Nancy Cladis has a well known hatred for Sheriff Rainey and is grasping at straws at this point to keep him and his police department from taking control of ACMPS. it is also a fact that she has family members working for her, one being her daughter (convicted felon) and the other being her nephew who also resides with her. And I’m willing to bet that ANYBODY could do Nancy’s job, considering she has an assistant (Jessica) do 90% of the work. Which, on a personal note, Jessica, the proper wording is “ins and outs”, not “ends and outs”. Be careful with your grammar, as many have seen Nancy chastise and humiliate her employees for grammatical mistakes.

    EDITOR NOTE–Disclaimer. The GUARDIAN provides the forum for discussion, but has no way to verify the accuracy of comments.

  5. Holly C. Go tell the collections agency to suck an egg because thats where the $$ will go. It isnt going to hurt anyone but you.

  6. “TRUTH” I have NOT commented anything on this blog until today. So make sure you correct the person who posted the blog and not me. I don’t have anything to hide. I am always straight forward about things. I know who you are, but it looks like you are afraid to use your real name why is that? If I ever need to speak my mind about anything, I do it face to face using my REAL name and not on a blog.

  7. There are simply too many grammatical mistakes NOT to be you Jessica. Truth be told, from what I’ve heard you don’t have a problem speaking your mind, as everybody at ACMPS has had the pleasure of hearing you talk….and talk and talk and talk about anything you deem appropriate at that moment. However, I understand your position, and why you defend Nancy, as your job relies on it, many have been there. It is a bit ironic, albeit, that so many complaints about being her assistant came from your mouth and you’re singing such a different tune now. In either case, I and many others are simply using this forum as a way to open the publics’ eye and inform them of several injustices that are happening with your place of employment, specifically in regards to Nancy Cladis.

  8. Caught on Flypaper
    Oct 2, 2011, 11:17 am

    I was one who went through the ADMPS and this was my experience. The whole thing is a money-racket. I had a measly disturbing the peace charge and received 2 years of probation. In those 2 years I had to pay $50 a month for a 3 minute monthly visit with the PO. This is called the “Supervision Fee.” I had to do UA’s twice a month (at $20 each) and neither alcohol nor drugs were ever involved in my “disturbing the peace charge” for making a “loud and boisterous noise”. I never had a dirty (positive) UA, though I did have a “false positive” due to something in my diet. They tried to give me a probation violation for it until I went to the lab, paid them another $35 to retest the specimen, and it came back negative. Hence, they dropped the probation violation charge. Note, I saw people in Court who had POSITIVE tests for opiates and they were just given warnings. There is no consistency to the system.

    Then, I had to take all of these silly classes. They were all once a week. This meant 3 CLASSES A WEEK. Total cost WEEKLY for these classes? $67. Grand total for making a “loud and boisterous noise?” Roughly, $358/month for 2 years. Do the math. Now, fortunately I have a job and was able to pay all of this. But, that was one expensive “loud and boisterous” sound that I made.
    For the record, Cladis has a rep of being a full on Probation Nazi. I think she is hard because she likes to keep people on the rolls because it increases her income. Total conflict of interest.
    I was contacted by a 3rd party company from WA wanting me to fill out a survey of the entire system. I refused to do so for fear of being retaliated against because I was still on probation.

  9. Caught on Flypaper
    Oct 2, 2011, 12:17 pm

    Nancy, probationers don’t say negative things because they are either unaware of this article or they are still on probation and don’t want to get assigned to a Cognitive Self Change class, at a cost of $80/month for at least 6-9 months, in order to force them to agree with your opinions.
    The entire experience with your office was a living nightmare. I was never much of a drinker. After having gone through your “program” and all of the stupid classes I now find myself drinking quite a bit more than I ever did just because of all the stress you put me through. Congratulations!

  10. Just Being Curious
    Oct 2, 2011, 1:24 pm

    I’m curious. Can the commissioners look into this indigent fund that supposively helps probationers pay for their UA’s? I’m just wondering if the indigent fund actually contributes to the multiple cosmetic surgeries that Nancy has had over the years (like breast enhancement, face lifts, and new veneers). No wonder I hear from people in the community that she cares more about the collection of money then the actual offenders! She’s got to pay for her looks somehow, why not use taxpayers money? Just wish I would have thought of this 10+ years ago-sounds like a great gig!

  11. Caught in Flypaper
    Oct 2, 2011, 4:33 pm

    Holly C.,

    I was on probation for 2 years. I had the same issue with diluted UAs once they changed labs. When my PO told me that i needed to not drink water I asked her right to her face, “are you giving me medical advice? (i.e. practicing medicine without a license).” That ended the conversation. I would say that 50% of my UAs from that point on were diluted. Not intentionally, I’m an active person, eat a healthy diet and live an active lifestyle. I drink the recommended amount of water a day (8 glasses), if not more. They would have had a massive lawsuit on their hands if they tried to violate me for drinking water.
    I offered to give blood tests and they ignored the offer. I had nothing to hide. She just accepted that I’m a properly hydrated person. Good luck in Court telling a jury that I was ordered to intentionally dehydrate myself! I WISH they would have pushed that one. I’d be living in a multi-million dollar estate right now!

  12. To Just Being Curious-
    You have every right to question how Nancy runs her company as she is paid with your taxes via the County’s contract. But Nancy has a right to do with her income what she pleases and exposing her cosmetic surgeries is just plain mean and vindictive. Stick to the facts as they apply to the posts and don’t lower yourself to character assassination. We all deserve some privacy and dignity regardless of how others feel about us.

    EDITOR NOTE–We agree and frankly missed that one. Folks, please stick to the facts regardless of which side you take.

  13. Also curious
    Oct 3, 2011, 1:36 pm

    Indigent fund?? Is this where her probation officers get to travel to court in their own vehicles,use their own gas and insurance and Nancy Cladis gets to turn in a subpoena to the courts and they pay her? She then says it goes to a indigent fund that no offender is eligible for? The comissioners should check into how many people she has found to be indigent.

  14. There is a misconception that Nancy Cladis is receiving “county funds” in exchange for providing misdemeanor probation services in Ada County. In fact, in Ada County, misdemeanor probation is supported through fees charged to the probationers rather than tax dollars. The basic monthly supervision fee has a statutory maximum, although there is some legal uncertainty as to whether that monthly fee is intended to cover all drug and alcohol testing, classes, monitoring devices, etc. The fees charged cannot, statutorily, be used to fund other county services.

  15. Sharon,

    I’d like some clarification on this because I was paying almost $400/month during my 2 year stint on probation. This was while being the sole earner in my family and supporting 4 people. To say it was a struggle is an understatement.

  16. Here is a question for you Sharon. I was sentenced to probation and had another case pending. When my second case was resolved, I was sentenced to 90 days in jail. My PO charged me $50 a month WHILE I WAS IN JAIL. I told her I was going, she never conducted a jail visit, and yet I was charged a “supervision fee” for three months that I was not supervised. Can they do that legally? I don’t see how they can force me to pay for “services” that weren’t rendered

  17. Fees ~ Idaho Code 31-3201D states, in part, “County misdemeanor probation supervision fee. (1) Any person under a supervised probation program for a misdemeanor offense shall be required to pay an amount not more than the maximum monthly felony probation or parole supervision fee set forth in section 20-225, Idaho Code, per month, or such lesser sum as determined by the administrative judge of the judicial district, as a misdemeanor probation supervision fee. Any failure to pay such fee shall constitute grounds for the revocation of probation by the court, but this shall not be the exclusive remedy for its collection. The court for good cause may exempt a person from the payment of all or any part of the foregoing fee.”

    Idaho Code 20-225 states, in part, “Payment for cost of supervision. Any person under state probation or parole supervision shall be required to contribute not more than seventy-five dollars ($75.00) per month as determined by the board of correction. Costs of supervision are the direct and indirect costs incurred by the department of correction to supervise probationers and parolees, including tests to determine drug and alcohol use, books and written materials to support rehabilitation efforts, and monitoring of physical location through the use of technology.”

    The question arises as to whether only the FEE of $75 is referenced with regard to misdemeanor probation, or the rest of that section of code, as well. If the whole section of code applies to misdemeanor probation, then a lot of people are likely paying more than statutorily allowed. If only the dollar figure for supervision applies, then ACMPS appears to be in compliance. The figure was $50 until July 1 of this year, when a legislative change brought it up to $75.

  18. Help ~ I am not an attorney and, therefore, cannot give legal advice or provide a legal opinion. In my personal and professional opinion, however, the situation as you presented it sounds pretty fishy to me.

  19. I.C. 20-255 (in relevant part):

    “…Costs of supervision are the direct and indirect costs incurred by the department of correction to supervise probationers and parolees, including tests to determine drug and alcohol use, books and written materials to support rehabilitation efforts, and monitoring of physical location through the use of technology.”

    It sounds like the total monthly cost for EVERYTHING is no more than $75. I think a class action suit is in order. I’m going to send them a demand letter and, if that fails, get an attorney for actual, as well as punitive, damages.

    If anyone wants to start a class action here post up.

  20. Okay, I’m not an attorney either. But, over the years I’ve learned to read the law.

    The clear reading of this statute is that $75 is the maximum that ACMPS can charge for “supervision” and it specifically states, “including tests to determine drug and alcohol use, books and written materials to support rehabilitation efforts, and monitoring of physical location through the use of technology.”

    Now, ACMPS ordered the UA’s via random calls or color codes. The classes, in my case, were ordered by the Court. Hence, not sure if recovery from them can be pursued successfully.

    My probation ended a before July of this year, hence every UA that I took caused my “supervision fee” to exceed $50/month since that is what I paid for my monthly visit. Thus, the UA fees should be an easy recovery.

    If anyone had a clas or evaluation that was ordered by ACMPS, and not simply recommended to the Judge and then the Judge (Court) ordered it, then I would surmise you could pursue recovery of that, too.

  21. as a former employee of Nancy I can vouge for most of this however not all of it. As for her willing to give a tour and ask questions. That is complete b.s.
    she would run you out of there so fast even if just trying to get her side. That woman loves to scream.She does galivant in once a week to scream at employslaves and probations to make her feel like she has just “helped” someone.

    EDITOR NOTE–Please stay on topic. How she runs her office is not a public concern. Let’s keep the discussion to how probationers and the county are treated.

  22. probationer2
    Oct 15, 2011, 5:02 pm

    I want to know why I am not able to get copies of my UA’s Nancy? I want to know why I can’t call and speak to my PO officer? Emailing my PO officer is not always the best form of communication! I pay you to so call “supervise me” I should be able to call there and get my questions answered… can you answer these questions for me.. since you stated that you are willing to answer questions and give tours of your place.?? Thanks

  23. Have you asked Global for a record of your UAs? You are paying them for a service. You have a contract with THEM. Seems to me like they should give you a UA log – maybe not every single time, and maybe you’d have to pay a printing fee or something.

    But my guess is Global would notify probation that you got that info.

  24. probationer2
    Oct 16, 2011, 12:26 am

    I think it’s funny how your stating I HAVE a contract with global drug testing…I have a CONTRACT with Nancy, who has a contract with THEM and she sends clients to them… I wasn’t ordered to have a contract through any testing lab.. but to simply report to PO and get my fines, class done! which are complete.
    I think my P.O should also be able to give me a UA log as well.. and as for the printing fee.. I give them enough money as it is, I should be able to view My information- with no fee! again it goes back to trying to make money, and suck people dry ! I wonder if it’s a PV if you request your information?!?

  25. probationer2
    Oct 16, 2011, 12:59 am

    Actually, I have a “CONTRACT” through Nancy, who Has a Contract with global drug testing. I shouldn’t have to ask them for a UA Log. I should be able to request one from my PO. as for the printing fee, I pay them enough as it is!- again, it goes back to making money, a sucking people dry!
    I was not ordered by the Judge to do testings. I was ordered to report to my PO, pay my fines, do my classes. which are complete. I was also not ordered to do Group sessions when meeting my PO. I pay 50 a month I should be able to have a private meeting/ get records from them..

  26. I went into the lab to get a copy of my UAs and was told that they could not give them to me because they were the property of ACMPS. They wouldn’t even give me a printout of the days I was there, the money I paid, or anything. They said to call ACMPS. They told me I’d have to subpoena them if I wanted them.

    Right now, I think ACMPS is on an obstructionist path in damage-control mode. The truth always comes out, though. And, if they falsify or perjure themselves over this issue it will only make their situation worse.

    Subpoena Duces Tecum… A powerful tool 🙂

  27. probationer2
    Oct 16, 2011, 9:40 pm

    FEES: thank you for that information. I was going to go in there and request the information from them. saves me the hassel of having to deal with them. I am going to request my information this week and see what kind of bull they come up with!

  28. probationer2
    Oct 16, 2011, 10:02 pm

    FEEs: Thank you for the information. Have you tried to obtain the information from ACMPS? I am curious to know if they were able to provide you with the information.

  29. Probationer2 – It cannot be a PV to request the information. A violation of probation has to be a violation of the specific terms of your probation. (Which makes it problematic that probation threatens violations for things which are not a term of the probation, like being employed or a student…)

    Yes, your PO SHOULD give you a copy. The reality is that the PO isn’t going to do anything that a probationer demands. Your attorney can cause stuff to happen, though. BUT, if you are doing well on probation, why not ask the PO for your UA results? If they don’t provide you that, post it on here.

    Just be aware that probation doesn’t want people rocking the boat. If you are trying to get your UA results and probation learns about it, my guess is they will put a target on you. Don’t miss the UA line or a payment or anything after that.

    I have represented tons of people on misdemeanor probation violations. Normal violations are:

    – PO contact
    – UAs
    – Fines/costs/restitution
    – Jail/SILD/SCS
    – Classes
    – New crimes
    – Employment

    I’m having to think hard to come up with any violation not on that list. And those are the basic things that the monthly check-in is about. Missed UAs? Paid fines? Finished class? Committed murder?

    I have never seen a PV for not paying the monthly cost of supervision, although I have had a bunch of clients tell me that probation tells them to pay COS first, THEN court stuff. That’s backwards and it creates a violation of probation.

  30. Nickolas Jennings
    Oct 17, 2011, 9:47 am

    Been struggling with this for 2.5 years. Transferred to different PO’s with no real plan to help me finish probation. Mixed messages. I’ve paid my debt ten fold, and am tired of playing the game. Out of money now, any lawyers out there wanting to do pro-bono work I could use the help.

  31. Nick:

    I don’t see any Ada case where you are on probation. If you are off probation you can still be a part of the class that Phil Gordon is suing on behalf of. Call his office.

    Misdemeanor probation is limited to two years per charge and I haven’t seen anything consecutive unless a felony is being reduced to a misdemeanor.

    If you are in violation of probation it is possible to “toll” the probation and thereby extend it at PV disposition, but most of the magistrates in Ada aren’t going to go out past the two years.

  32. Probationer2, my 2nd request was to ACMPS and they were the ones who told me to subpoena them, even though they knew I was off probation.

    They obviously know about all of this and are in obstructionist/protectionist mode.

    Personally, I hope they hide and falsify their records. I can substantiate 75% of it on my own. The labs will do the rest. Any discrepancy between our records will prove concealment on their part.

  33. Just for some information–a big reason they’re trying to steal client’s money is because they spend 60 bucks on these stupid spice tests that never come back positive anyways. it’s just a waste of money. since they began sending the tests in, they’ve raised cost of supervision, and seem to be giving more and more of them. it’s really frustrating to work your ass off and get nothing in return. the probation officers in moscow are just terrible. they don’t listen to you at all and you absolutely cannot go to them for help. i know this girl who just got her third spice test and hasn’t even failed one. she admitted to smoking spice once, didn’t even fail the test, did 2 days, and they are continuing to ua her all the time. sounds like a waste of money to me. and probationers wonder why c.o.s. went up. ridiculous. i dont know how some of them sleep at night. you work and work and work to do the right thing and it’s never good enough. it’s pretty discouraging. makes it even harder to stay sober. they send all the tests not done in the office to redwood toxicology, an advanced drug-testing lab, however, what’s the point of spending the money if the individual is doing well?

  34. AND PEOPLE WONDER WHY IDAHO IS SO BROKE RIGHT NOW!! THE SYSTEM IS SO RIDICULOUSLY UNFAIR, UNJUST, DISCRIMINATORY, AND SCREWED THE HELL UP. ITS BECAUSE OF PROBATION OFFICERS WHO DON’T WORK THEIR JOB IN AN EFFORT TO IMPROVE OTHERS LIVES, BUT TO RUIN OTHERS LIVES. ITS LIKE THEY WAKE UP AND SAY “HMMM…LETS SEE WHAT I CAN PUT HIM IN JAIL FOR TODAY BECAUSE IM SO F#@%&* BORED”

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