Following a series of mostly negative comments posted by GUARDIAN readers, Nancy Cladis has responded in her own words. The most revealing statement is her intention to retire in a year and turn over the private, for-profit misdemeanor probation program to Ada County operation and control.
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.
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