December  2006

 

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On Halloween, the Norfolk office conducted operations to ensure sex offenders complied with special Halloween restrictions that called for them to remain in their residence with the porch light out after 5:00 p.m.  Probation Officers worked in tandem with local police to monitor offenders that night, and were pleased to find a high level of compliance, indicative of offender progress.

 

Simultaneously, a United States Probation Officer conducted a meeting with sex offenders in the District 2 office.  Trooper Kauffman, Virginia State Police, made a presentation during that time.  Those offenders were expected to be in the office from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m.

 

The Portsmouth Office instructed  51 sex offenders to report to the Portsmouth Circuit Court Building on Halloween at 5:30 p.m.  Virginia State Trooper Kauffman reviewed sex offender registration priorities.  An educational film, “First time Felon,” was shown following a presentation made by a local criminal justice official.  DCPO Terry Carter coordinated the special operation.  The offenders were restored to supervision at 8:30 p.m.

 

All sex offenders under supervision in the Accomac Office were instructed to report to the Office between the hours of 6:00 and 8:00 p.m.   Two local Virginia State Troopers reviewed the sex offender registration process.  Sr. Probation Officer Glenn Crim and Surveillance Officer Kenny Midgett moderated the session.

 

The Gloucester Office also conducted Operation Porch Lights Out on Halloween.  Probation Officer Michael Meczkowski instructed all sex offenders not to participate in Halloween activities.  During the course of the evening, random surveillance of sex offender homes ensured compliance with the instructions.

 

The Suffolk Sex Offender Team, under the oversight of Sr. Probation Officer Catherine Honeycutt, solicited a “plan” from all District 6 sex offenders regarding their whereabouts for the evening of October 31, 2006, in an operation dubbed “Project Safe Company.”  Offenders who lived alone were instructed to provide a suitable plan to spend the Trick or Treat hours with a friend or family member.  They were not to be home alone.  Offenders were required to provide a telephone number that could be called to verify their compliance.  Calls were made to the offenders randomly.  Sr. PO Honeycutt and PO Hyman conducted Suffolk visits, and Sr. PO Honeycutt conducted Smithfield visits.

 

In Petersburg, Probation Officer Aaron Sumpter coordinated “Operation No Trick or Treat” from 5:00 until 10:00 p.m. in the Petersburg General District Court.  Activities included a presentation by the Virginia State Police Sex Offender Registry and Community Contact representative Trooper Walker; a sex offender counseling group session facilitated by Behavior Awareness, Inc., a drug screening, and an overview/reinforcement of the conditions of supervision and sex offender special instructions.

 

As 2006 closed, the Petersburg Office bid a warm farewell to Mark Alley, Deputy Chief Probation Officer.  Mark, a long time friend of the Association, retired on the last day of the year.  He had been with the Department since 1976, and he served with District 7 almost exclusively for those three decades.   We all wish him well and District 7 especially thanks him for the lasting positive impact that he had on District 7 and the Virginia Department of Corrections.

 

The Charlottesville Probation Office recently concluded a frenzied Fall.  They have been working on a number of initiatives that they hope will lead to better probation outcomes and reduce recidivism among their clientele. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additionally, the District continued its involvement in the Human Capital Project, which seeks to improve the culture of an organization through improved communication and directed goal-setting.  The District developed a scorecard by which the next year will be measured and staff participated in several Human Capital sessions to prepare them to achieve and exceed the milestones set by their scorecard.

 

Congratulations to Amy Morris, who recently graduated from the Public Safety Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University.  Amy spent six weeks as a full-time student, learning and interacting with other members from a broad spectrum of public safety occupations.  She learned a great deal about how these other agencies work, and how we can all work together to improve public safety.

 

Sr. Probation Officer Michele Arkin-Hodges (Arlington), Deputy Chief Wendy Goodman (Charlottesville), Deputy Chief Tracy Lavely  (Manassas) and Deputy Chief Lisa Stapleton (Alexandria) have been invited to present a workshop in January, 2007, in Tampa, Florida, at the

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the third straight year, the Winchester Office conducted operation Trick nor Treat on Halloween night.  Three law enforcement agencies - the Warren County Sheriff's Department, the Winchester City Police Department, and the Virginia State Police - assisted in the operation.  Six staff members comprised five teams that conducted sex offender home contacts in three jurisdictions.  One team assisted by State Trooper Jerry Bosserman, arrested a client for felony Failure to Register for a Second or Subsequent time.  Intensive Senior Probation Officer Brad Triplett reported a suspected drunk driver, who was weaving across the yellow line and up on the curb near Trick or Treaters.   It ended up being someone in medical distress.  Officer Triplett's quick action possibly saved the lives of the driver and children out for the evening.  Special thanks goes to Surveillance Officer Jim Christiansen, who organized and led the entire operation.

 

The Roanoke Sex Offender Team gathered all sex offenders on supervision at the Roanoke Day Reporting Center on Halloween night for operation Trick No Treat.  The purpose of the event was to provide a safer environment for children out on Halloween.  Those officers who contributed to the success of the project included Randy Phillips, Norm Berkeley, Mike Fosbre, Charles Sweetenberg, Bill Carroll, Andy Martin, Ted Abernethy and Matt Spencer.

 

On November 8 -9, 2006, the Roanoke Office participated in “Operation Inked II.”  The names of all individuals who had outstanding warrants on file with the Roanoke Police Department, the Beford County Sheriff’s Office, and the United States Marshals Service were listed in the Roanoke Times.  According to the Roanoke News Release, “the objective of this operation was to encourage these individuals to turn themselves in, and to solicit assistance from the community in locating wanted individuals who refused to cooperate with law enforcement.  The operation resulted in the service of over 300 warrants. The following staff from District 15 participated in the operation: Kyle Hatten, Abby Fedor, Mike Fosbre, Matt Spencer, Laura Pope, Todd Carroll, Stephanie Witt-Coughlin, Paul Keiser, Herb Hastings, Crystal Pulley, Lynn Roe, Leslie Matney and Carla Fosbre.

 

The Roanoke staff recently opened the Clothes Closet to assist offenders who have clothing needs.  Officers collected a variety of items for infants, children, men and women.  The project was envisioned by Crystal Pulley, who coordinated the effort, but many staff members donated time and clothing to the project.  The full staff is commended for this worthwhile undertaking.

 

On October 10, 2006, the Wytheville Office enjoyed  “Lee Denim Day.”  In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, employees paid $5 to wear their jeans to work.  The money raised that day was donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

 

On December 1, 2006, Probation Officer Robert Clarke retired from the Wytheville Office after 30 years with the State.  He rose to the rank of Captain at Southampton Correctional Center, before joining Community Corrections on March 1, 1991.  He will be missed, and the Department wishes him the very best.

 

On Halloween night, the Newport News Office conducted surveillance on high-risk predatory sex offenders under their supervision.  During the evening, in “Operation Porch Lights Out,”  Officers conducted random home contacts to ensure compliance with curfew instructions and confirm offenders followed instruction that barred all participation in Trick or Treat activities.

 

On October 31, 2006, the Fredericksburg office conducted “Operation Trick/Treat.” The staff worked in partnership with the Virginia State Police, Spotsylvania County and Stafford County Sheriffs Offices, Fredericksburg City Police Department, Spotsylvania County Commonwealth Attorney's Office, and the Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault to enhance public safety on Halloween Night.  The successful operation conformed to the District Motto: “TOGETHER EVERYONE ACHIEVES MORE."

 

Two District 21 staff members recently traveled to Haiti on a mission trip.  Senior Probation Officer Faye Jones and Office Services Assistance Shelia Thomas shared their experiences with staff during a presentation in November.

 

 

 

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They continue to add elements of Evidence-Based Practices to their operation, and as of November 1, 2006, they became the first District to use the new risk assessment tool, COMPAS.  This is a 4th generation risk assessment instrument that identifies and measures the key criminogenic issues that lead to recidivism, violence, absconding and supervision noncompliance.  The tool also helps the Officer craft a supervision plan that is focused on risk reduction by addressing the criminogenic issues identified in the assessment.  The District has decided to use the COMPAS Lite (which consists of 40 pieces of data) on all newly-opened cases and to do the full COMPAS (about 150 pieces of data) on those who present the highest risk.  As they move forward with the development of effective, measurable interventions, this new risk assessment/case planning will be a big help in better understanding why people fail under supervision and what can be done to prevent it.

Winter Training Conference of the American Correctional Association.

 

The workshop, entitled “Enhancing the Image of Probation & Parole,” will be based on a project the four women developed as part of the LEAD Program, which involved, among other things, the production of a public service announcement and creation of a brochure.

The logo used by LEAD was designed by Maurice Dean, District 1

LEADERSHIP ENHANCEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT

Continued - SEE Around