Regarding Adult Misdemeanor Probation

After reading the letter in the Weekly Mailer last week, I question what the main purpose of the adult misdemeanor probation office really is. It seems to me that the AMP has no real empathy for those who have made mistakes, who are trying to fulfill the requirements set by the court. I wonder if the local judges have any idea how difficult this office makes it for these folks to meet those requirements?

Questions I have are directed to the Judges, the Cassia & Minidoka County Commissioners and Amber Pruitt (Dept. Head).

Why is a drug test required for an offense that had nothing to do with drugs?

Why is it so difficult for probationers to reach their probation officers by phone; during office hours?

Why are the drug testing hours so limited?

Who oversees the adult misdemeanor probation office, including the department head?

Why do probation officers deliberately ignore appointments; showing complete ambivalence in the successful transformation of their clients?

Why is this department not striving for success in getting people off probation rather than placing hurdles and roadblocks in their way?

It seems to me, this department is severely lacking in leadership and oversight; and there is a real abuse of power in the way procedures are handled. There is too much autonomy in their job description and no way to track their day to day performance. Where is the accountability? A standard of mediocrity has been set and has trickled throughout the department. I think they can and should do better; but until someone, with more authority than the department head, honestly looks into the matter, nothing will change.

Now I realize there are those probationers who do everything they can to circumvent the system, but there are those who truly want to get their lives back on track. Where is the probation officer in helping the client do that? It seems there is not enough effort in encouraging them to do what’s right. Where is the pride in accomplishing a positive transition for those striving hard to set their lives straight? I thought that was the purpose of this department.

Commissioners, when was the last time you did an audit on their hours and activities? When I hear complaints from probationers on the lack of accessibility, I question the times I’ve seen them in retail stores, driving county cars while in uniform and not doing their job.

It seems like the probation dept. is a silent, untouchable area the counties are hesitant to address. In reading the county minutes, the probation dept. regularly attends 3-4 day conferences. When was the last time they were required to show what new procedures they learned and implemented to make their department more efficient?

It’s time they show some accountability and it’s time oversight is done by our elected officials. I hope to hear of improvements and success stories in the very near future. Someone needs to step up and do the right thing.

A Concerned Citizen

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