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ADULT PROBATION/PAROLE DEPARTMENT

 

Staff
Chief Adult Probation/Parole Officer: Ronald S. Kokinda
Deputy Chief Adult Probation/Parole Officer: Joseph J. Berke
Adult Probation/Parole Officer II/Gagnon I Hearing Officer: Tammy Wall
Adult Probation/Parole Officer II: Joseph Bettine
Adult Probation/Parole Officer II: Matthew Kimmel
Adult Probation/Parole Officer II: Clifford Eckhart
Adult Probation/Parole Officer II: Jillian McGinley
Adult Probation/Parole Officer II: Kimberly Cooper
Adult Probation/Parole Officer I: Toby Butz
Adult Probation Technician I: Cheryl Honchen
Adult Probation Clerk:  Jessica Cressley
Adult Probation Drug Detection Specialist:  Michael Eckhart

 

 

 

Phone: 570-325-4226

Emergency Phone: 570-325-9123

Fax: 570-325-4250

Business Hours: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday

 

 


Ronald S. Kokinda and a staff of seven probation officers provide community supervision of all criminal offenders placed under the jurisdiction of the department by the court.

 

The primary mission of the department is to maintain public safety and protection through the active supervision, control and surveillance of the offender. Secondarily, the department strives to reintegrate the offender into society without further criminal behavior.

 

In 2002, the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole conducted an audit on agency policies and practices in accordance with 277 standards promulgated by the American Correctional Association. As a result, the department attained a 99.3% compliance rating.

 

 

 

 

Agency Programs

 

Intensive Drug/Alcohol Program: On November 13, 1989, the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole announced that Carbon County was selected to participate in the Comprehensive Drug and Alcohol Abuse Initiative. The department recognized that alcohol and drugs are destroying the very fabric of society and that the fight against substance abuse requires a comprehensive approach. Therefore, a specialized unit was developed that targeted offenders with chronic substance abuse problems or offenders who committed alcohol or drug related offenses. Offenders in this program are required to undergo drug/alcohol treatment, are supervised on an intensive level and are subject to frequent urine screens.

 

Intermediate Punishment Programs: In March 1992, the department was awarded a grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to develop intermediate punishment programs. These programs, which include house arrest, home electronic monitoring, intensive supervision and residential inpatient treatment, are designed as an alternative to imprisonment and provide sentencing alternatives for the court. Second-time DUI offenders and low risk, non-violent offenders are targeted for these programs. These sentencing alternatives provides a cost effective approach in the delivery of community correction services and promotes offender accountability through stricter sanctions, education, treatment and counseling.

 

Pretrial Services Project: On December 5, 1995, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency awarded the department a grant from the Drug Control and System Improvement Program to develop a program to supervise offenders placed on bail release. The court developed standard conditions of bail and all offenders who post bond are referred for supervision. Additionally, the officer is responsible for completing a bail report on all offenders incarcerated in lieu of bail. This report is provided to the Magistrate so that a better-informed bail decision can be made using the information contained in the report.

Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program: This program, which is sponsored by the District Attorney’s Office, is only available to defendants recommended by the District Attorney. The adult probation department supervises all defendants placed in this program. This program is designed to divert first-time DUI offenders or minor offense defendants from having a criminal conviction, which allows for the dismissal of criminal charges and the expungement of their record.

 

Video Conferencing: In 1999, the department received a grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency for the installation of video conferencing equipment. Equipment was installed in the Adult Probation Office, District Attorney’s Office, the Prison and Courthouse conference room. The probation department uses this equipment to conduct Gagnon I Hearings, bail report interviews and presentence interviews. The court utilizes this equipment for parole hearings, Gagnon II Hearings and other court related matters.

 
Bulletproof Vests

            In November 2001, the adult probation office purchased nine bulletproof vests. These vests replaced older models that were out-dated and cumbersome to wear. The department purchased these vests through the Bulletproof Vest Grant Acts of 1998 and 2000, which funds are administered by the United States Department of Justice. Any vests purchased after March 1, 1999, that meets applicable National Institute of Justice standards is eligible for funding, using an electronic, Internet-based application and payment request process. The entire process of obtaining federal funds is completed through the web site.

            This act provides funding priority for jurisdictions with populations under 100,000. Based upon the availability of funds, the department can receive up to 50% of requested funds in approved applications.

            The department submitted an application in the amount of $4,768.20. On May 16, 2001, the grant application was approved in the amount of $1,668.69, which is a funding level of 35%. Once the vests were ordered and received, the Bureau of Justice Assistance electronically transferred from the United States Treasury, Carbon County’s funds to a specified bank account.

            Finally, when the department received their new vests, the old vests were provided to the juvenile probation office and sheriff’s department.

 

After-Hours Supervision: In 2002, the department developed an after-hours supervision schedule. Field staff now conducts unannounced field visits to offender’s homes in the evening and weekend. Since many violations of release occur after normal business hours, the department designed this supervision strategy to provide better safety and protection for the community and to provide better enforcement of the conditions of release imposed by the court. Typically, offenders placed on home electronic monitoring will be contacted with more frequency and offenders difficult to see during normal business hours will be contacted with more frequency. Also, field staff will be collecting more urine samples from offenders. Finally, the department, in conjunction with local law enforcement officials, will conduct bar raids at local establishments.