Adult Probation needs personnel, space/2 percent adult population on probation in Kaufman County

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : June 16, 2017

By Denise York
Monitor Staff Writer
KAUFMAN–Adult Probation Officer David Daniel and 422nd District Court Judge B. Michael Chitty came before the Kaufman County Commissioners Court at the regular meeting June 12 to express the need for more office space and personnel. Judge Chitty explained the use of community supervision for low-level offenders has increased exponentially.
Probation Officer David Daniel told the court, “We are maxed out. I will be adding personnel and right now we have no offices to put them in.” There are currently 13 offices filled. Adult Probation is responsible for supervision of 2,312 persons currently with approximately 1,200 of them under direct supervision. “We have approximately 2 percent of the population under probation. Population is expected to increase to as much as 149,000 by 2020, adding as many as 700 more.” Some are seen weekly, some monthly with probations lasting from five to ten years.
Daniel explained that currently they are paying outside sources for mandatory drug counseling. “With the amount we have, it makes economic sense for us to have our own counselors. I am looking to hire two.”
Daniel and Judge Chitty stressed the need for more localized services, saving the county money for transportation of indigent offenders and making the follow-up easier. “We would need at least four more offices in Kaufman and three to four in Forney,”
Plans may include using the old library building in Kaufman which would need renovation. Forney, the court was told, may have offices available. No action was taken.
Kaufman County Pct. 1 Commissioner Mike Hunt accepted a $77,817 award from the North East Texas Regional Mobility Authority for improvements to the State Highway 243 and FM 2727 intersection. NET RMA is an independent government agency created to accelerate the development of transportation projects in North East Texas and this was part of nearly $500,000 in awards given for 2017.
In other business, the commissioners:
• discussed the status of implementing a new jury pay system, paying jurors in cash unless they elect to donate their pay to charity. This will cut down on fraud with checks;
• extended County Road 142 by 1,684 feet and added Lewis Circle to the Pct. 1 road report;
• heard and accepted reports from Fire Marshall Randy Richards, Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office, and outside audit report form John Manning, CPS, Patillo, Brown & Hill, L.L.P.;
• heard that the location for the proposed Kaufman County Animal Shelter has not been finalized but plans are to add sewer services at the Kaufman County Poor Farm and Fairgrounds at the same time;
• heard the Authentic Western Day will take place at the KC Poor Farm Saturday, August 19 with performances all day long;
• paid bills totaling $2,063,267.03, $600,000 of which was in yearly insurance payment.