Ada Probation Update–No Investigation Likely, Unconstitutional System Continues

UPDATED 3/5 Noting constitutional amendment has passed on this issue.
When the GUARDIAN began receiving what appeared to be credible complaints about the operation of the private for profit Ada County Misdemeanor Probation Services we forwarded details directly to the Ada County Commishes.

In May 2011 we posted the FIRST STORY which caused a brief stir and prompted assurances from Ada Commish chairman Rick Yzaguirre that an investigation would be launched.

About the only thing the Commishes have done is renew the contract with Nancy Cladis for one year to operate the company on contract with the county. We have checked numerous sources who tell us there has been some contact with Cladis, but it is aimed mostly at a “transition to the Sheriff’s department.” No investigation by a law enforcement agency has been conducted.

WHOA! Since the original story, lawyers have revealed the state constitution CLEARLY places probation–without distinction of felony or misdemeanor–under the purview of the Idaho Department of Corrections. There are a bunch of laws passed by the legislature relating to misdemeanor probation, but they are without question UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

All those complaints from probationers and former employees apparently are not being addressed. Most of the reports have been about probation officers making their own rules and charging fees for services not rendered and draconian rules regarding urine and drug tests which the offenders have to pay for or face jail.

Meanwhile officials collectively say, “We don’t have any alternative at this point so we have to go with what we have.”

SJR 1202–a constitutional amendment–has quietly made its way through the legislative process and has been delivered to the Secretary of State. The constitutional amendment changes only a single word, adding “FELONY” to to the probation duties of the Department of Corrections.

The DOC already has the authority and duty to administer felony probation. By simply not mentioning “MISDEMEANOR” probation lawmakers somehow think that will give authority to counties to administer it. In truth, the legislature is making a feeble attempt to make legal all the past unconstitutional laws they have passed regarding misdemeanor probation.

Regarding the board of corrections, the constitution will read:
“This board shall have the control, direction and management of the penitentiaries of the state, their employees and properties, and of adult FELONY probation and parole, with such compensation, powers,and duties as may be prescribed by law.” The constitution STILL does not give specific authority to counties, nor does it remove authority from the state…it simply muddies the water.

Meanwhile the illegal Ada arrangement is set to continue until October. If the constitutional amendment fails, the Dept. of Corrections could contract with counties, but would have to maintain control of the finances and operation. The state has placed drug and alcohol treatment under the Dept. of Health and Welfare, but provides no funds to operate–which prompted Boise and Ada County to open their own facility. They do the same with misdemeanor probation, but that pesky constitution has once again interfered.

A class action lawsuit on behalf of probationers seems to have stalled in the court over procedural issues, but is still active.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. publicwatch
    Mar 3, 2012, 7:39 pm

    Let me be the first to respond to this new article and thank you Guardian for being open minded to the argument that these were not credible complaints. If you read these comments, there is one disgruntled employee that has used several different names to continue to bash this agency. Then we have Commissioner Ullman meeting with disgrunted employees and solicitating complaints from this website and her own. Ms. Ullman is known for her contraversy with others. She no longer uses this site most likely because she herself was highly critized for the things she does in public office. She has humiliated and attacked Miss Cladis publicly for years for her own personal reasons. It was not until Ms. Ullman was in office that there were ANY complaints filed against Ada County Misdemeanor Probation.

    She has publicly attacked her fellow commissioners on renewing the contract with Cladis and continually asks for an investigation when she knows there was a thourough investigation done by the Ada County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office 18 months ago to accept her new proposal to continue to run misdemeanor probation. A committee of judges, prosecutors, defense counsel, and others in the judiciary.

    EDITOR NOTE–Our position is the complaints warranted an honest to gosh investigation with a decision to either clear or
    charge any wrongdoing.

  2. the only word to describe any faction of this so-called “government” is debacle. this state is so far gone, the only way to fix it is to demolish it, fire everyone who is employed with the state, and start new. Any attempt to repair this existing system,is nothing more than a band-aid on a gushing wound of immorality. probation as it is now, felony and misdemeanor, is nothing but for profit Fascism.

  3. Probationers can only hope that the sheriff’s dept’s dont get control of probation. Talk about a revolving door for them. They arrest you and jail you, you get out of jail on probation and then you report to deputies for your probation, where if you look at them wrong they throw you back in their jail.

    your putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop.

  4. In reference to “Public Watch aka Rick whom is a close friend of Nancy’s” I’m really tired of you saying all these comments about this issue are from ONE disgruntled employee. With the amount of complaints about this company it’s pretty darn clear they are not coming from just one source. However I do commend YOU for changing your name on here as you’ve been warned many times about your comments and now you can get a few more jabs in before it becomes obvious who you are.

    What I find funny is that I HAD voiced complaints in the past to the trial court administrator about this company on a few occasions (as that was who I was told to contact) and not one thing was done and I was never contacted again about the complaint. Leads me to believe that either the trail court admin. didn’t really care or is a friend of Nancy’s. When I did contact the commissioners I felt as if my complaint was at least listened to and would be looked in to. Isn’t that a part of what the commissioners are paid to do? Listen to the people?

    To say there were “NO COMPLAINTS” about this company before Ms. Ullman was in office is absolutely ridiculous in my mind as I made SEVERAL complaints to the TCA as I mentioned but apparently those were just swept under the rug. Makes you wonder how many other complaints were not listened to.

    I am bothered that there apparently was not an investigation done!! HOW many complaints would it take for action to be taken?? I applaud Sharon for trying to take action on these complaints and asking for input as I can imagine you can only hear the same stories/complaints over and over again before you realize there’s a problem. Only wish the other 2 commish’s had been so willing to listen to the people.

    I hear now that the sheriff’s office will be taking over and I’m thankful for that. Nancy, it appears, has not had to be accountable to ANYONE over her actions and it’s time for that to come to an end. The price increase as of late just solidifies to me that she is only in it for the money and rehabilitation and public safety only comes in at a far 2nd to her. She needs the extra fee’s now to combat the lawsuit which she’s in.

    IF you commish’s are listening, an investigation is STILL warranted!! Just because you have decided to end her contract does not mean that she does not have to answer for the allegations against her.

  5. publicwatch
    Mar 4, 2012, 12:34 am

    Let me continue with that first comment, the rest of the message did not go through. A committee of judges, prosecutors, defense counsel, and others in the court system recommended Ms. Cladis to continue to run probation to the Ada County Commissioners. She tried to stop it last year and again this year after Ms. Ullman continually held the vote over. She was finally outvoted by the other two commissioners. This would never have been done if there was ANY wrongdoing on the part of Ms. Cladis.

    As for the lawsuit filed by Mr. Phil Gordon for excessive fees, these same fees are charged across the state in other county probation offices. No one intentially charged any fees they did not believe to be standard fees. The Ada County contract with Ms. Cladis specifically spells out the fees to be charged and was followed. A meeting with Ms. Cladis and the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office concerning this did not change the contract and no recommendations to do anything differently were made by the PA’s office.

    As for the question of misdemeanor probation being unconstitutional, this is also a statewide issue, not just Ada County Misdemeanor Probation. The comment made about introducing a bill changing the state constitution is correct but not to be placed under the sheriff. It reads to be placed under county commissioners. As our current language reads it is interpreted to be under the Department of Corrections.

    Maybe this is where it should be as the constitution states, if we are considering probation to go under law enforcement agencies making it a huge conflict of interest for the probationers who will quite possibly lose many of their rights.

    The current proposal for the Sheriff to run Ada County Probation involves a one stop shop for the offenders. Offenders will be arrested by the Sheriff’s Department, supervised by the Sheriff’s Department, do treatment in an unlicensed facility at the Sheriff’s Department,violated by the Sheriff’s office, and then put back in jail at the Sheriff’s Department.

    Probation fees and other current fees will still be in place, along with the costly programs at the Sheriff’s Department to include electronic monitoring at $8 a day, GPS monitoring at $25.00 a day,home arrest monitoring at $25.00 a day with an additional program set up fee. Keep in mind it only costs the Sheriff’s Department $6.00 a day for the monitors. Home arrest is usually reserved for offenders with medical problems, pregnancy or special circumstances and they get slammed with outrageous fees. To do 30 days costs $800, 60 days costs $1550.00 and 90 days cost $2300.00. SILD also costs $25.00 a day and is no longer continually supervised by the Sheriff’s Department.

    Then there is community service and it is $50.00 to get a time sheet and verify your hours. The Sheriff’s Office is not a licensed facility to do drug, alcohol, and co occuring disorders treatment but it is offered there in custody and out of custody and must be paid for also.
    Currently, misdemeanor probation has grant money for offenders to obtain GAIN assessments and treatment at LICENSED FACILITIES at no cost to the offender.

    Then it is proposed to do pre-trial release programs at the Sheriff’s Department also, another conflict. As far as calling for another investigation of the current misdemeanor probation program, a full audit and investigation just recently took place with an Ada County employee from HR. Her findings rated them as very efficient with no wrong doings. She had access to all records at probation. She did not recommend the Sheriff’s Office to run probation and if changed to be under the county, it should be a separate department under the court system. Ms. Cladis agreed. Sharon, most likely taking the opportunity to vote on this when Vern Bisterfelt, the third commissioner, was out ill, must have convinced Rick Y. to go along with her. Or maybe a lunch might have helped.

    So, in conclusion for those who like to insult a private for profit company who truly cares about offenders and their rights, You now have a government system on the way to the rescue. You all should have gone and talked to the real probationers wanting to turn their life around, and asked them walking out the probation door or domestic violence court, if probation truly treated them fair and guided them through many difficult times in their lives. If I misquoted on any prices, etc. please feel free to review the fees yourself. Maybe the Guardian can verify this for the readers as it is public record.

    EDITOR NOTE–Having the prosecutor involved in any manner with probation is no different than the sheriff. Prosecutors are the ones who put the offenders in the system!
    Dept. of Corrections parole and probation officers are certified PEACE OFFICERS, just like sheriff’s deputies. We see little difference between a “county correction system” run by the sheriff and his jail staff and a state department of correction run by state officers and their prison staff. Both may indeed be a conflict, but the constitution places ALL authority with the state at this point and county systems are without legal authority to operate.

  6. publicwatch
    Mar 4, 2012, 12:40 am

    Rick, Tina is back again with a new name of “repulsed”. Did you not kindly tell her along with the guardian to take this stuff off this website? She admits she continually complains and that is what makes her totally not credible.

  7. the comments I’ve seen here are not really giving a solid suggestion as to solve this problem. There needs to be a total, and complete change of power here, something comparable to that in the middle east and egypt, this state is corrupted, just look at John Bujak, John McGee, and every single cop and probationer in this state, the only way to fix this, is to dismantle, destroy, and fire every single person who is affiliated with it, use their weapons against them and send each one to jail for corruption, and lack of morality. We CAN NOT continue with this attitude of just changing who’s in charge of the broken system, we need to break down the system and start new. Until this happens we can’t count on any substantial change taking place.

  8. Change is needed now
    Mar 4, 2012, 10:35 am

    It is pretty clear to me who “Publicwatch” is as I’ve heard these stats and comments come straight from Nancy’s mouth when I was employed there. So I’d like to address some of them. And for the record I am NOT Tina, there are so many ex-employee’s from there it could be any one of us, but if it makes you feel better to think it’s one person by all means make yourself feel better.

    As far as all the “recommendations” that you run probation. Those letters were NOT just handed out to you because that’s what they thought was best, you in FACT ASKED people to do it for you. What were they supposed to say when you put them on the spot. You know as well as I do that you have put some treatment providers nearly out of business by not letting clients attend their programs. Is a treatment provider going to take that chance with their business at stake? In my mind you have bullied people to take your side. In fact I hear now that you have told several treatment providers that since the sheriffs office is taking over they will not get referrals from them. Here you go again trying to bully them into taking your side.

    As for your fee’s comments. Let me ask you this, you said that these SAME fee’s are charged throughout the state, can you tell me ANY other office that is charging the full $75 other then your office? That statute states you can charge “up to $75” but to my knowledge your the only one charging that full amount.

    In regards to the sheriff’s office comments. It’s crazy that you say it’s a revolving door and they will just throw probationers in jail if they don’t comply. You sat in on the same staff meetings as me when representatives from the jail came over to talk to us about their new alcohol/drug programs that they were having at a ridiculously low price so offenders would NOT have to go to jail to get the help they need. We all came away from that meeting knowing that the last thing they wanted was more people in the jail. In fact they asked if we were willing to give people options on their discretionary jail time so they would not lose their jobs and break apart their families while trying to get back on track. You were gung ho on their programs and encouraged all the PO’s to use them even though they were not certified UNTIL you had a falling out over the alcohol monitors then that came to an abrupt halt and you stating that we could not use them because they were not certified, but you knew that all along.

    I absolutely agree with the Guardian on the fact that probation and parole is run by the Dept of corrections is no different then the sheriff’s office running probation. Do you really think it does Gary Raney ANY good to fill up the jail then have to go back to the public and ask for funds to expand the jail? Makes no sense what’s so ever.

    I think the “real probationers” have been talked to…….by the commissioners and by a certain class action lawsuit attorney and they are speaking quite loud and clear.
    This contract cannot end a day too soon in my opinion and Nancy I believe life would be a heck of a lot easier for you if you accepted the fact that you are going to lose this for profit business and look forward to and make plans for your future. As the more you hang on and the more you bully people it just brings you down and I mean that sincerely not viciously.

  9. Ronin

    a qusetion, you said throw probationers in jail, did you mean PO’s? I think thats what you mean, but want to be sure.

  10. Rick, yes, PO’s, cops, bounty hunters, lawyers and judges, i would like to see all these people experience what its like to be behind bars. Then they might not be so eager to throw away another person’s life. It could be some sort of mandatory right of passage to become a member of the “ruling” class. two months in jail. (or something similar)

  11. Why should they if they haven’t done anything wrong? Don’t break the law and you won’t go to jail, pretty easy.

  12. well cops will never be subjected to that…they enforce the laws… they dont have to obey them…lawyers,judges… not much chance… as for PO’s well I have tried twice to look at Mr Plews file and it stays in the judges chambers….only to be seen by those the judge allows..and he stole from his boss.. so I doubt that they will ever suffer from abusing their charges

  13. such a shame, wish there was something more that could be done to stop these people from needlessly forcing the citizens to suffer when the ones who are in control can’t even keep their own house in order. unfortunately I have no other suggestions other than dismantling the whole system.

  14. Guardian, what do you mean Boise and Ada opened their own facilities. Where are they and who runs them.

    EDITOR NOTE–Referring to the joint Detox center.

  15. Ronin—why are you so sure PO’s havent experienced jail before? There are crooked cops, judges, attorneys and PO’s but that doesn’t mean they are all crooked. Maybe if people would do what they are supposed to do on probation they would turn their lives around and get out of the system. Sounds like you haven’t taken accountability for your rong doings.

  16. Come on people, did you really expect any thing to happen. The system is very encompassing, and corrupt, they all stick together. No one is gonna step on anyone elses’ toes. Ask a cop about the solid blue wall.

  17. Prober and many of you others placed it on the table as it is. It’s a Blackhat and Profit situation and somehow someway needs to be Challenged. One good start would be to do away with the Privatized Prison which so many of our government owns stock in. There are plenty of resources within our community to assist if this system would allow them the opportunity. In a domino effect it would and could make a hudge difference within this whole system crashing due to PROFIT so many seek. We need to bring this back to the People and families.
    Thank you Guardian for Enlightening us all. And you others will to Speak Up as well for the Wrongs!

  18. Do any of you realy think the fees will go down when Gary and the keystone cops take over? Your fee’s and your heart aches will increase….and probably some jail time too….. remember if he puts you in jail it’s $25 a day for the first 20 days…. he has a real incentive to lock you up….

  19. Rick, you are exactly right and that price is for straight time, but if they do one of the programs, which will gladly be offered, the Sheriff makes a ton of money putting probationers in jail. My friend told me he had to have a monitor also for the programs and that cost another $5.00. This just is NOT right. Sounds like a money making business over there. We need to call the lawyers or legislators. Do oter big counties in the state have the Sheriff do probation, it is a big conflict.

  20. I had a perimeter ankle monitor a cpl years ago for 30 days. $35 to put in on and $12 a day. Guess who had that racket, a bondswoman in Canyon county, right across from the Courthouse.

  21. Money is a big motivator, and that seems to be the most prominent factor involved in deciding when a person gets arrested, (or put in for discretionary time) and then there is the cost of supervision, then the cost of treatment classes, then the cost of polygraphs. this is all about money, it always has been and unless we remove this broken system, it will continue to be all about money.

  22. When this country started, all legislators worked for free, and now we are “nickel and dimed” to death. The probation system is nothing but a testament to hunger for money our state has, victims of the system pay $60 a month in supervision fees, then the cost of treatment, then the court costs, then the jail fees, then the polygraph fees, then the drug test fees. If a person who is unfortunate enough to find themselves at the “mercy” of this broken system fails to pay one of these methods of oppression, then they find themselves in jail, and thus the cycle continues again.

  23. You know if Nancy would go into court and back all the probatianers that are seeking unsupervised probation, it would throw the light off her as being for profit to being human. She’s on the out’s why not give em something to talk about, that’s good then something that’s tainted and suspicious.

  24. Ronin

    Money is the big motivator you are right. In this case I think the bigger motivator is power and it’s consolidation not to mention one persons seemingly personal vendeta. No I am not talking about Tina, I know some will think I am but my target for that comment is much higher in the for chain.

    I am not sure you can point to the system and brand it oppressionistic (is that a word) those in the system entered it voluntarily. Once you are in it is a very oppressive system, designed to milk the maximum amount of money from an individual.

    Having spent time in Gary Raineys bed and breakfast I think he calls it, I have got to see first hand the sadism that some of those jailers revel in, it happens on the street but in there you are in their world with no hope of asserting your rights. That and the money are my biggest problem with putting probation under the sheriffs control.

    This will get to long to ruminate to much suffice it to say IMHO a law enforcement department is the wrong place to put the supervision of this program. I will disagree with the editor that it is the same as felony parole, parole does not stand to put money into their coffers by putting a person back in prison. Fees for putting someone in jail will go directly into the sheriffs coffers.

    I apologize for any typos this wasn’t done from a computer with all of MS Words fanciness…

  25. if the sheriffs dept. doesnt run misdomeaner probation who should?

  26. in response to Publicwatch: I am thankful that Sharon Ullman has had the courage to stand up to Bisterfeldt and Yzaguirre, who have done nothing but cover for Nancy and ACMPS for years. Sharon has been the only commissioner who has listened and taken the needed action in this matter, and I will be happy to vote for her re-election. I urge everyone else to vote for Sharon and vote against Yzaguirre. So long, Bisterfeldt!

    EDITOR NOTE–Yzaguirre’s current term runs for two more years. Dave Case will oppose Ullman.

  27. If you’re asking my opinion? Since the counties taking over then the county takes over, hire a manager to run the program, x number of PO’s with criminal justice degrees and while you’re at it drug and alcohol counselors, and DV counselors.
    But wait… as it stands right now the whole thing seems to be unconstitutional any way. Doesn’t that whole mess need to get cleaned up before any changes are made?

    I know what I would do…but I’m not running this mess.

  28. Scared I have a question. What about the people who are not ready to be off supervised yet? Just because you have done a year of so doesn’t mean your ready to be cut loose. I sure wasn’t.

  29. Scared, the You in my last post wasn’t pointed at you personally, just wanted to clairify..

  30. And hopefully Dave Case will be our new commissioner along with Jim Tibbs. Don’t know of many people wanting Sharon in there anymore. She does not have courage, she intimidates and slanders people.

    EDITOR NOTE–This is PROBATION…take the political comments to the CANDIDATE SITE please.

  31. another connected business that should be looked into is Alcohol Intervention Services (AIS on Fairview) where probs are sent for classes and evaluations, that place is rampant with abuse. Totally the fox owning the chicken coop.

  32. Who owns it?

  33. I could never be on a jury in this town because of the absolutely corrupt prosecutors and judicial system. What a clown show. Reminds me of a third world country.

  34. First off I have a lot of contact with quite a few veterans through programs I attend at the V.A. Seems like none of them outside of Ada county had cost raises for reporting. Felony fees did not even go up.
    Secondly why can’t I find out about Austin Pews sentencing. I did hear the case was dismissed by the court.

  35. Look for good old Austin on I stars…sentencing on wed @11 he pled guilty…probably probation…my guess…

  36. severaldifferentnames
    Apr 2, 2012, 11:01 am

    @publicwatch, If Boise wants to be tough on crime, fine. The problem lies in the fact that the money from said crimes is going to lace the pockets of corrupt individuals to buy frivolous things and tighten the stranglehold of power. When a person commits a crime they owe a debt to society, not Nancy Cladis and Co. Ada County needs a lot of serious societal upgrades. Boise has not had an expansion on the downtown Library! since 1989. The money that one pays as their debt to society should be going to the betterment of our society. Most of you are missing the point on this.

  37. Have any of you been to a probation meeting? The first thing your PO says to your group is “cash here, debit over here.” Its all about the money. Your PO does not care about anything else. They make the attempt to have a meeting after payment about your month, but it is often a short and a simple mantra the comes from each fellow probationer. I thought our PO’s were there to help set our life straight and back on track? But if you don’t have your money you get threatened with jail time? I do know I had a particularly dry and straightforward PO, but I never felt as if they were there to help me get my life back together.
    1 1/2 years with ACMPS.

  38. Well, client92, after October 1st, it will all be over. All the whiney probationers that have posted on this site complaining about Cladis and AMCPS, will be transferred to the County Sherriff’s Probation Services. Probation may then end up with a few more teeth than now and if so, that part is good. Having never been in law enforcement or on probation, I have no idea what will change, I just think it will be interesting to see how many complaints about the “new probation” will end up back on this site. The Sherriff’s department likes money too, you know.

  39. Entertained, not ever been you have nothing at all to do then hear the rants of people who have paid out the …. so Nancy can legally rape taxpayers on both sides of the fence, she’s taking money hand over fist for the last 6months as she slowly dropped po’s down to 4,recently i went for scheduled visit got if you can pay for next 2 months you wont have to come in till oct and that will be at the sheriff’s,she still is paranoid you can see it in her eyes.

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