County

Ada Commishes Approve Probation Contract On 2-1 Vote

Despite a class action lawsuit, legal questions about the constitutionality of county operated misdemeanor probation and numerous complaints, Ada County Commishes voted to approve a 12 month contract extension with the private for-profit Ada County Misdemeanor Probation Services, Inc.

The outfit is run by Nancy Cladis and has been subject of numerous complaints and online discussion at the GUARDIAN and the IDAHO STATESMAN. Commissioners Rick Yzaguirre and Vern Bisterfeldt approved the contract with Commish Sharon Ullman dissenting.

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Comments & Discussion

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  1. Well, what I would like to know now is did they include in the contract the ability to conduct an independent audit of all activities of ACMPS? Or did they let Nancy get away with running a closed operation as a private company, approved by the 2 commissioners, with no sunshine from the outside?

    EDITOR NOTE–Contract has always had the audit provision. The new one includes a clause prohibiting her from making anything off the testing, or other requirements of probation.

  2. Editor, what does “other requirements of probation” mean? If the judge did not order random UA’s, can she require them under penalty of a probation violation?

    EDITOR NOTE–Don’t know. I have heard there is some sort of blanket order from the court with a catchall phrase.

  3. The Yaz and Bisterfelt just lost my vote. What morons.

  4. Accessdenied
    Oct 18, 2011, 5:31 pm

    To all current probationers: Keep every reciept, bit of paperwork, and court order regarding your time during probation. If you can, double test at a private facility (Drug Shield is a good one, and despite the sign at ACMPS, your P.O. can’t tell you not to), take notes or record if possible any run-ins with your P.O. and ACMPS (phone calls, too), and pray to God Nancy Cladis keeps all her assets in her name so you can join the class-action lawsuit against this bullying thief. Sharon, good on ya’ for doing what men refused to: Growing a set to face the backlash of angry probationers and having the boldness to address the overwhelming problems with ACMPS. You definitley have my vote next election date. The other two are just Nancy’s lap dogs, tails wagging, waiting for her next command.

  5. Ok well since I’m getting UA’d at the probation office now I guess my price should be drastically cut. As I wrote in the other blog I stated that even with my research the tests were only $1.50 to $2.50 and less then that in bulk. My PO does usually does my UA, is he making about a $1.00 a minute to give me a UA?? I sure hope the price drops!
    To answer Publica’s question about my in office UA’s I don’t know why I have to come to the probation office to do them. I was just told I was being taken off my color and would be called to come in and UA randomly. My UA’s for the last 8 months have been negative so I have no idea for the change.

  6. If you receive supervised probation in Ada County there will be a judgment or withheld judgment document. Same document with boxes to check as to which type it is.

    The probation conditions are near the bottom – it is a HORRIBLE form. There are boxes to check for common terms. There is some space to write other terms.

    If the sentencing is done in open court, the judge will normally tell you that you cannot refuse any evidentiary test of blood, breath or urine. While that doesn’t specifically say you must do UAs and it could be directed at evidentiary testing in a DUI situation, for example, it is probably sufficient to create an obligation to UA with probation. The judgment also references a “Responsibilities Form” which is probably the checklist you execute at the probation office.

    The new document is about a year old, I believe. If you have the older documents, you’ll have to check them specifically. Back then probation was on a judgment supplement for programs.

  7. Question for Editor
    Oct 18, 2011, 6:44 pm

    Does this include the SCRAM bracelet? If she is prohibited from making anything from testing or other requirements, surely this would include the thousands of dollars she is collecting from offenders who are forced to go on SCRAM or face jail?? SHAME ON YOU VERN AND RICK. It’s sad to see people we are expected to turn to with concerns show such indifference to the people they are claiming to represent. I only pray that our voices were heard by someone willing to step up to the plate and do their job. My sympathies are with Sharon Ullman for taking on a battle that two others could only cower from.

  8. vote out Yazzy nd Blister!

  9. This is a hard one to understand. They on her payroll?

  10. I went in on Monday for a monthly meeting and made a fuss about all of this. Said i was joining the class-action. Was taken off colors. Funny huh.

    Want to join me? DO IT HERE

    FWD: from my E-mail on how to do it

    Name:

    Date of Birth:

    Address:

    Phone & e-mail:

    Jusge & Cose No.

    Underlying crime

    Start /End Probation:

    Term of Probation and / Copy of those docs:

    Ever been ordered to wear:
    1) SCRAM
    2) GPS

    Do you have a History of Drug or Alcohol Abuse:

    Do you know of any friends or relatives that may be a part of the Class? (if please forward this information to them with our e-mail in the body of the text and their name and Misd Probation as the subject line)

    Also, include comment or concens and if you can scan in cost reciepts, etc.

    Thank you
    Celeste
    GORDON LAW OFFICES, CHTD
    623 West Hays Street
    Boise, Idaho 83702-5512
    Phone: (208) 345-7100
    Facsimile: (208) 345-0050

    Vote out those two Beagles. Good job Sharron

    EDITOR NOTE–We don’t mind offering up the forum and communication channel, but it would sure be nice if the lawyers and clients pushed the DONATE button once in a while!

  11. Also note that IT IS DOCUMENTED Rick Yazz contacted Nancy prior to vote and said the contract WOULD BE EXTENDED. Close minded, and in bed with Blister.

    Wonder how much Nancy had to pay for his vote

  12. This is very upsetting to me, Like I said in prior post we provided proof of her corruption and her mistreatment of her employees and probationers I don’t understand how they could turn the other cheek and ignore it.

  13. It seems to me that without the proding of the Boise Guardian articles, this lawsuit would not be taking place. Maybe the BG could get some legal work done gratis from the above mentioned firm.

  14. Instead of continuing to talk about it, we need to take action.
    These commishes dont expect us to do anything but talk about it.
    Lets do something real.

    I propose a full display of disapproval. Picketing at ACMPS and at city hall, and at the court house. The week of 10-23 – 10-29

    Comment if you agree and lets get organized. Everyone here is right and in agreement. What they are doing is ilegal. Lets hold them accountable.

  15. @ Pissed, how long have you been on supervised probation ? @ Anybody, where can a copy of the new contract with Cladis be found ?

    EDITOR NOTE–Contract is a public record document. Just write a note to the commishes at Adaweb.net and they will give you a pdf

  16. Well, in the face of all of the controversy I would imagine that, if ACMPS is found in violation of probationers rights in any way, then the County of Ada should now be a Defendant in the class action since they approved the extension of the contract in light of the likely corruption.

  17. Pissed - current probationer
    Oct 19, 2011, 7:28 pm

    Deano. I’ve been on probation since July of this year for phone harassment (which i could complain about by itself) But i have been forced to do these drug tests weekly and have never even used drugs or abused alchohol.

  18. We had a chance to get rid of Yzaguirre last year. And we have had many opportunities to get rid of Vern over the years (EVERYBODY Vern, don’t forget). It seems to me that we annually pay $300k+, and on a good day only get $100k of common sense. And apparently we only get the 100k when things get to emergency mode.

  19. I’m on a two year supervised probation at ACMPS and was wondering, maybe you past employees can answer my question, but is it the norm to be hit with a Drug AND Alcohol UA ($20) in the beginning, if your offense is only ONE of those offenses? In my case, this is my 2nd DUI. First happened 8 years ago and it was a withheld judgement. I’m now on just an alcohol UA (I’m sure – only pay $10 twice a month) and have been on it for over six months. My 1 year is coming up here and was wondering if I should write to my judge to request unsupervised probation for the last year. I’ve been good. I’ve done all that has been asked of me and luckily have been able to pay everything so far. Should I ask my PO first or just ask the judge? I’m just afraid of retaliation from ACMPS!! Need your feedback! Thanks!

  20. Former Employee
    Oct 20, 2011, 2:26 pm

    Alex, I quit my job there a few months after the new mandatory color code UAs came into effect, but I’ll do what I can to answer your question. Drug and alcohol UAs for the first while is pretty standard, regardless of your crime. I had a lot of clients in for things like theft that turned out to have drug and/or alcohol problems. Your PO was most likely just making sure drug use wasn’t an issue for you (a lot of my DUI clients abused both drugs and alcohol). People often find this offensive, but it’s one of the only tools a PO has to get a realistic assessment of the situation. (A lot of clients try and deceive their PO constantly. I’m not saying your dishonest, but POs can’t go off an offender’s word. You wouldn’t believe some of the stuff people tried to pull over on me.) 2nd DUI cases are typically treated with a heavier hand since it is a case of re-offending. Being bumped to alcohol only is a sign your PO trusts that you don’t have a substance abuse problem as well. However, I would occasionally instruct my client to do a drug panel every few months just to be on the safe side. You’re on the right track if you’ve been meeting all your requirements, so congratulations on getting that–you should take some pride in that because it isn’t as easy as some people make it sound.

    You’re always within your rights to write to your judge–even if your PO says it is a long shot or they recommend against it. You don’t get anything if you don’t try, right? I would frequently tell my clients that were doing well to at least take a chance at firing off a letter to their judge. This was discouraged (sometimes) by my superiors, but I did it anyway. Now, I don’t know you or your case (or your judge…), so I don’t know what your chances are, but give it a shot. Include some details not only on what requirements you’ve met, but also what you’ve learned. Don’t BS it, either because people can see through it. And be patient. I’ve never seen a judge get a letter on Monday and release someone to unsupervised on Tuesday. It can take a few weeks. And don’t be upset if it’s denied. It doesn’t mean you’re a wretched human being, it just means you’ll have to continue with your original sentencing. After all, being moved to unsupervised isn’t a right, it is an incredibly gracious gift. All I’m saying is don’t feel entitled to it. I only very rarely had clients that were granted unsupervised, and they were the folks that were doing more than just meeting the requirements–they were honest, respectful, and showed a genuine sense of remorse for their crime, and actively took steps beyond what the court requires to turn their life around.

    Whether or not you tell your PO is up to you. They cannot tell you not to and they cannot punish you for it either. If you’re going to do go that route, be smart about it. Take notes (including dates, times, who you talked to, what was said etc.) and don’t let your PO trample all over you. You need to be respectful about it, but you also need to make claim to your rights. Contrary to what Nancy might like to believe, she doesn’t get to call the shots on that–only a judge can decide. That’s not to say your PO won’t influence that decision. The clients I had that were granted unsupervised weren’t just “lucky”. I got a phone call or an e-mail asking for my honest assessment of the offender and my experience with them. So, if you’ve got an attitude problem with your PO, that won’t go over well. And don’t approach it with a “I hate this damn place, you, and this whole system!” attitude. I’d say something like, “I’m really proud of the success I’ve had on supervised probation, and I am considering writing a letter to the judge. If they were to contact you, do you think I would be a good candidate for unsupervised?” Chances are your PO won’t say one way or the other, but again, that’s nothing personal, it’s just them doing their job. If nothing else, that seems like a pretty respectful way to test the waters if you go that route.

    Best of luck to you on your continued recovery, and feel free to ask any other questions you might have and I’ll share any insight I can offer.

  21. Accessdenied
    Oct 20, 2011, 2:57 pm

    Alex,

    I’ve never worked as a P.O., but from experience, I can tell you this. My probationer is doing a 2-year stint on probation. A couple of months ago (after about a year on probation), he wrote to his judge and asked for unsupervised probation. It was denied shortly after. Then, a few weeks ago right before Cladis was exposed, he gets a notice in the mail from a judge giving him a hearing for unsupervised probation. He also paid for numerous UAs (7 or more a month) and was clean. Surprisingly, he was told at his last monthly P.O. visit that he was given a drug test without his knowledge when he only paid the $10 for alcohol testing. This was after he requested unsupervised probation. Pre-class-action, he didn’t ask his P.O. to go on unsupevised, just wrote the judge on his own. I’ve read that before all this came out about Nancy, ACMPS NEVER supported any probationer requesting to go on unsupervised. Now? Who knows. I know my probationer is getting a second chance since all this came out about Nancy. If I were you, I would write to the judge privately and see what happens. The worst they could say is no. Good luck.

  22. you needto get an attorney or your public defender to pu in a motion for unsupervised probation there will be a hearing then the outcome will then be determined by the judge

  23. Former Employee, Thank you for your input on this blog. Can you articulate where ACMPS gets it authority to require random drug test when the judge only says to not refuse “evidentiary tests”? An evidentiary test is for a new crime like a new DUI, not a fishing expedition. Thank you for your response.

  24. Alex: If you e-mail me I might be able to help. lexpublica@gmail.com.

    I do NOT work for probation. I’m an attorney here in Boise.

    SMEG: ACMPS gets its “authority” from assuming it. You have whatever power you take.

    In the past I’ve represented people who got violated for hot UAs and had judges rule that they didn’t order that. However, in the big scheme of things, when you are on probation for DUI and get violated for hot UAs and a second DUI, the hot UAs aren’t all that important.

    And if the defendant complied and never violated, nobody learned about it. That’s why this class action is so important. Gordon should be able to get access to her probation files to see what has happened that has never come to light.

  25. As a former employee myself I am disheartend by the fact that the contract was renewed. However I completely understand why. that is a huge caseload to take on not having enough employee or insite as to what to do.I am not a disgruntled employee however I am sure there are a few. I can tell you now reading nancys statement if any former employees went in there asking questions or anyone for that matter, not that she would actually be there. She would run you out of that office so fast. Hostile or not. She uses he screaming as a power and intiidation tool. Most of her what she stated on her statement I call BS on most of it. She does have a good mind for business and keep a business going. However if it was an actual business that relied on customer service it would have tanked almost immediately as for the the way she treats others in general. He famous line ” not my problem”. I hated it but it taught me a lot and working for her made me a much stronger person and I have my “bitch attitude” because of her. THanks for that Nancy. :D

  26. Former Employee
    Oct 21, 2011, 9:55 am

    Smeg, Publica pretty much hit the nail on the head. Most cases have “refuse no evidentiary” marked on the judgment supplement forms–but that doesn’t explicitly apply to random UAs. A few cases I saw had notes regarding random UAs, but not many (at least when I was there). Typically, the tool POs are trained to use is the contract the client actually signs with ACMPS (this sheet is always discussed and signed at the first appointment). On it, there is a term that the client agrees not to use any drugs or alcohol during the duration of their probation, which will be enforced through the use of UAs. I understand the principle behind that term, but I was never a fan of the blanket policy.

    Really, I am in the same boat. I was sad to see the contract renewed, but having all clients caught in limbo while the county (or whoever) comes up to speed would spell trouble. My hope is that the county can gear up quickly to take it over even before the renewal is up. I’d love to see some of the POs there (and there are some really stand up people there that really care about their clients) get some more intensive training and access to better resources. I think it’s great they are going to POST.

    My suspicion is that if an investigation really takes off (I’m VERY curious to see the outcome of this class action suit), more and more details will come to the surface that prove the transition needs to happen ASAP, not when Nancy retires. I’m not a ragingly upset former employee either. I did, however, find another job and got out of there as fast as I could because I fundamentally disagreed with how the place was being run. I learned a lot during my time there and left without any huge blow ups or anything. If nothing else, when my friends and I are talking about ridiculous things our former bosses did, I always have the trump card thanks to Nancy.

  27. Ada County is gearing up to take over the provision of misdemeanor probation services at the end of this contract term, which is September 30, 2012. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to call or write to my Board to express your concerns and frustrations with this program.

    Thank you, also, to the Boise Guardian for focussing much-needed attention on this issue and for providing this forum to allow those people who are affected by it the opportunity to interact, provide information, or just vent.

    Although I would have liked to see a thorough investigation take place before my colleagues renewed the ACMPS contract, we are at least now moving in the right direction. As I have mentioned several times on the Boise Guardian, I have never supported the concept of privatized misdemeanor probation or any corrections services but have never before had the necessary second vote to terminate the contract and provide the service in-house. I believe in limited governnment, but corrections-related services are properly handled by government to avoid the profit motive and problems that are allegedly occurring at ACMPS.

    Early last week, I had gallbladder surgery, so please accept my apologies if you contacted me and I did not get back to you. I have read all my e-mail and listened to all of the voice mail messages I received, but admit that the timing of my surgery did not work well with the high volume of messages I received on this issue. I want to assure you that your concerns have been heard.

    To all of the people who are currently on misdemeanor probation: Please understand that I have no authority over your individual case or situation. If you have complaints about the handling of your case by ACMPS, please contact your attorney and/or the judge on your case for assistance.

    If you have evidence of a problem at ACMPS that you can document, such as positive UA’s at Global during a time when you can provide PROOF that you were clean, please send a copy of this information to the Board of Ada County Commissioners, 200 W. Front Street, Boise, 83702.

    Thank you, again, to everyone for helping to change the way Ada County provides misdemeanor probation services.

  28. Pissed - current probationer
    Oct 22, 2011, 5:12 am

    Sharon is awesome. Finally someone who sees through the muck, calls it like it is and stands up for whats right. Kudos

  29. Accessdenied

    I would like to call BS on one comment you made in your post on Oct 20th, “I’ve read that before all this came out about Nancy, ACMPS NEVER supported any probationer requesting to go on unsupervised.” As with many things in this whole debate the words always and never should be used very carefully. I know for a fact the ACMPS and Nancy in particular have not only supported, but, have requested people be moved to unsupervised probation. She supported more than one member of the group I was in while I was on probation, I know this to be a fact sine I went to the review hearing when they were granted unsupervised.

    I know for a FACT that in at least 1 case she has herself suggested a person be put on unsupervised. I know this to be true because that person is me, the motion was submitted on 10/16/09 and I was granted unsupervised on 11/03/09. My probation is totally complete on 3/12/12, if you do the math, since everyone says this is all about money, that’s 28 months @ $50 a month (I am not sure when the cost changed so I will use the dollar figure that I was paying) for a total of $1400 in my case alone, the others she supported were probably not as much money individually but, I can’t speak to their exact situations. My point is that too many people who like you who are not in the system are reporting things they have heard from “my probationer”, someone they know or a baby daddy/ baby momma as fact and these things simply are not facts, or if they are facts we are missing “The rest of the story” as Paul Harvey used to say.

    I know I will be attacked as a minion of Nancy’s but, that is simply not true. I am simply trying to say that we cannot lump all situations together and then report what we have been told by someone else as fact when we do not have the entire story.

  30. “Rick S.” I think I was in the same group with you at ACMP. But I, unlike you, was not supported in going to unsupervised probation even though I never had ONE positive UA and finished my classes with very good reviews and paid my fines. I have to wonder if she supported you going to unsupervised because you were going to do her a favor and speak at a Domestic Violence seminar for her??????
    Sounds like a situation of you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.
    Don’t know if your the same “Rick” but seems a little weird to me.

  31. I appreciate Rick’s information, but I’ve represented hundreds of people on misdemeanor probation and have NEVER seen a recommendation for unsupervised probation. I have never seen any unsupervised recommendation in the PO notes they use to memorialize interactions with probationers.

    I have had plenty of clients tell me the PO supports such move, but the best we ever get from ACMPS is silence – the lack of negative recommendation.

  32. Publica
    If…. you are calling me a liar I’m sure I can get the tapes from the court and we can listen to them. Your “clients” have told you the PO supports them being placed on unsupervised but there are no notes to “memorialize” this…all I can say to that is….humm…sounds kinda fishy. As I said before the words always and never have no business in these discussions.

    EDITOR NOTE–Rick, time out! The lawyer is trying to help all concerned. He said HE has never seen a vote for unsupervised. Fair enough. Objection overruled.

  33. Dave, “objection overruled” LOL your killing me this morning :)
    I can appreciate that Rick said him and another person were granted unsupervised probation. But we are talking about a PUBLIC DEFENDER here. We are talking about possibly HUNDREDS of clients he’s represented. Hundreds compared to you and “one other guy” that Nancy was so kind enough to support. To me the math speaks for itself. It’s a no brainer that she keeps people on probation. No clients=no money and no money means giving up the million dollar home that the clients of this county have funded for her.

  34. Gregg
    I am the same Rick, sorry but I don’t recall you, as there were several people who came and went while I was in those groups. Was my being supported for unsupervised a quid pro quo situation? To an extent yes it was also acknowledgement that I had made some pretty big changes in my life which I am very proud to say that I have built on in the time since I got off of supervised probation.
    I would also like to say that simply complying with the terms of probation “In my opinion” should not get a person off supervised early. I think if a person wants to get off supervised early they should have to go above and beyond what has been mandated for them to do, simply complying has not shown any initiative on the probationer’s part.

  35. Dave

    You seem to have a seriuos bias against ANYONE who has any comment that does not conform to the agenda at hand. Since the mouth piece has not seen this…it must have “Never” happened… my point is as I have said more than once the words Never and Aways have no buisness in these types of conversations. Over rule that!!!!

  36. Often a PO can personally support unsupervised probation, but Nancy has the final vote. That support would not be in the notes because they would get called out on it by Nancy. Regarding Rick’s unsupervised probation, if Nancy supported it, I would guarantee that she had an unspoken agenda. Whether it be a “token” unsupervised case, or as Gregg suggested, she did Rick a favor if he does one for her…that is consistent with Nancy’s need to look good in front of others, and to manipulate others for her own benefit. If he did indeed speak at a Domestic Violence seminar at her request, she would have gotten positive attention and words of praise because she must be doing a fantastic job….

  37. Accessdenied
    Oct 23, 2011, 12:41 pm

    Rick,

    I simply stated what “I’ve read” about Nancy, not what I know. My probationer is my spouse and we’ve attended everything together, so I have witnessed a lot of dishonesty the P.O. said and did. I choose not to say too much because careful eyes are watching these blogs. And, yes, we are part of the class-action. I’ve rarely (not never or always, as you don’t care for extremes) read about anything positive Nancy has done for others without ulterior motives. You may be one of those rare “good deeds” Nancy has chosen for no particular reason at all, but only she knows. No harm meant. Good luck to you.

  38. Rick – Let’s just meet on Main Street with our six-guns. How about that?

    Nobody called you a liar. My experience with ACMPS is more than yours and I’m relating my experience. My experience revolves around NEVER having seen a positive rec. And don’t tell us what words we can use or not use. This isn’t France…

    EDITOR NOTE– Objection sustained! Now, both of you carry on in a civilized manner. Is that clear?

  39. Accessdenied
    Listen guys I know the system is broken…the WHOLE judicial system is broken, inefficient, prejudiced, and honestly a farce. Putting emphasis on putting one aspect of the system under govt. control is not going to change the way the system is run, only who is running it. The things that all of you complain about are still going to happen it will just be a county run agency doing it to you. Anyone who thinks that the cost of supervision or the cost of UA’s will go down is sadly mistaken. Put the system under the county pay them your COS and UA fees, as well as your fines and court costs, you will not see one bit of change in the attitude of the individual PO’s you will be no more likely to be granted unsupervised probation (that would take money out of the counties coffers) of and think of this IF you don’t pay the $25 a day the sheriff charges you for room and board now the county will probably grant themselves the authority to PV you (for non payment of fees) and put you right back in the pokey @ $25 a day.
    Everyone is up in arms about the way PO’s treat people but I wonder why isn’t there any uprising as to how the Police In General I personally was treated with much more contempt and much less respect by the “boy’s in blue”. This is a different rant though.

    One note to Karma…. the Judge has the final vote… not the PO that is not to say the judge will not follow what the PO tells him/her. That part only makes sence, since the judge only sees the probationer for how many minutes every other month or so.

  40. Rick, you are right, the judge does have the final vote regarding granting an unsupervised request. I meant that the PO is under Nancy’s thumb regarding support for an unsupervised request, before it even gets to court. I personally supported several requests for unsupervised, but Nancy denied the requests, and I had to support her view in court, or else. On several occasions, judges granted the requests despite probations opinions to deny them.

  41. Publica

    I never told you what words you could use… I will say this never never happens and always doesnt happen either… I am not sure what France has to do with it…France…atleast the parts I have been too have fredom of speech. You must have been in the comunist section.

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