Workshops, Mentoring, Resources and Contacts made available to Offenders
Circuit 6 continued its efforts this year toward helping offenders succeed. During the past year, Probation Officers and Supervisors have held regular workshops including "Making Supervision Work for You," "Building Healthy Relationships," "Establishing Goals," "Managing Stress and Emotions," "Dressing for Success from the Inside Out," and more. In conjunction with Fresh Start Mentoring, staff from our St. Pete office has established an offender mentoring program and is currently working to expand this program to all our offices.
Each of the Probation and Parole Offices circuit-wide has bulletin board displays of employment, housing, food, education, and transportation information, and provide clothing resource closets and other donated supplies to assist offenders. Circuit 6 often refers offenders to community resource services, such as Pinellas Ex-Offender Re-Entry Coalition (PERC), Fresh Start, Probationers Educational Growth (PEG), Dream Center, AFDC, Work Net, Housing Scouting with Prospects, Urban League, Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA), Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Prep Program, DCF's Automated Community Connection to Economic Self-Sufficiency (ACCESS), Haven of Rest Missions, Windmoor Healthcare, Alpha Counseling, and many more.
The Probation Officers continue to play a key role in ensuring the re-entry effort is successful in Community Corrections.
Each year Circuit 6 participates in many re-entry initiatives, but perhaps none exemplifies our commitment to re-entry more than The Coming Home Showcase of Services for ex-offenders, an annual event where Probation and Parole Staff from around the circuit display various resources and services and provide information to offenders. A resume service is also offered to offenders. In another effort, the following vendors participated in a Community Resource/Job Fair for approximately 130 offenders: Career Central, United Way 2-1-1, Alpha Counseling, Pasco County Public Transportation Awareness Program, DCF Food Stamp Program, Marchman Technical Institute GED Program, Rasmussen College, and Pasco-Hernando Community College. Bay News 9 provided Hurricane Preparedness Guides for all attendees and more than 20 offenders were assisted with preparing resumes.
Operation "Fugitive Safe Surrender" Nets Big Numbers for 7th Circuit
On January 12, 2011, the Daytona Beach Police Department, along with the State Attorney and Public Defender's Offices from the 7th Circuit, took part in an operation modeled after the U.S. Marshal's program called Fugitive Safe Surrender. The goal is to provide a non-threatening way for offenders, in the presence of their families, to turn themselves in on open warrants.
The idea is to have fugitives turn themselves in to police and have a chance to speak to a public defender, attend first appearance before a judge, and go home if they are a non-violent offender. Twenty cities across the U.S. have successfully carried out this program, resulting in 90,800 fugitive arrests being cleared. This operation was the second of its kind put on by the Daytona Beach Police Department.
The Department of Corrections has assisted in both operations by providing background information on offenders on felony probation and other information as needed.
There were a total of 38 fugitives from justice who turned themselves in. Thirty fugitive warrants were served, and seven of those offenders were on felony probation. Of the seven felony offenders who surrendered, two were unrelated to their current term of supervision, one went to jail due to an out-of-county warrant, one was reinstated and the other three were set for Violation of Probation (VOP) hearings.
Search Nets Drugs and Cash in Gainesville Circuit
On 10/28/10 CPSO Jason Maxwell, CPSO Angela Hudson, CPO Allan Peeler, CPSO Sara Bowie, CPO Owen Guthrie and CPO Kwandra Zeigler participated in a Planned Compliance Initiative (coordinated effort between the Department and local law enforcement agencies to ensure compliance with the law and conditions of supervision) with the Gainesville Police Department. While conducting a curfew check on an offender, due to the offender's erratic behavior and the smell of burnt cannabis, a search was conducted.
Upon search of the residence there was a considerable amount of cannabis located in various locations throughout the residence in closets and the kitchen area. There was also cocaine located throughout the residence and detected on various household items including a scale, two-burner stove, and utensils. Along with the narcotics, drug paraphernalia and more than $3,000 in cash were seized from this residence. The offender was arrested for violation of probation based on the illegal evidence that was located inside the residence. This is an example of how our probation officers keep our streets safe.
Pictured From left to right: Lee Kim, Min Soo Lee, Administrator Lee, and Joo Kyong Il
Pictured: Officer Kevin Vanness answering questions from Korean Visitors
Orlando P&P Hosts Visitors from the Ministry of Justice Republic of South Korea
On February 25, 2011, Circuit 9 hosted visitors from the Ministry of Justice, Republic of South Korea. 93 Orlando Midtown and 9B Orlando Metro had the unique opportunity to be Department of Corrections ambassadors to four visitors from South Korea, Probation and Parole Division. The visitors were in the United States attending the American Probation & Parole Association Winter Institute held in Orlando, Florida. Prior to their arrival the group had requested to tour an Intake Office and view the use of electronic monitoring equipment in the Department of Corrections.
CPSO Kevin Vanness and CPS Pamela Lingard served as guides to the four men from South Korea's Probation and Parole Division: Min Soo Lee, Korean Probation & Parole Office Junior Official Youth Counselor; Joo Kyong Il, Probation and Parole Officer; Lee Kim, a Korean guide and Counselor; and Mr. Lee, a high-ranking administrator within the Korean Ministry of Justice. The visit took place in the afternoon, allowing the visitors to view the intake process as Intake staff processed offenders directly from court to the satellite offices. The Korean visitors were shown the Rapid ID System along with how offenders are processed and assigned to a field office to be supervised.
As CPSO Kevin Vanness showed them various OBIS screens, the Korean visitors seemed extremely impressed with the ease at which he typed and moved from screen to screen. This resulted in a few ooh's and aahh's with the translator commenting "you are very fast." The visitors took particular interest in the Abused Pharmaceutical Chart, taking photos and asking which drugs were abused most. Officer Vanness's response, "All of them," resulted in even more ooh's and aahh's.
The group inquired about electronic monitoring, which led to them visiting 9B Orlando Metro, which handles electronic monitoring and sex offender case management for Orange County. Their timely arrival netted them the opportunity to observe as an ankle bracelet was being inspected/replaced by HRS Officer Colin Galloway. CPS Sergi Franks stepped in as resident expert for electronic monitoring use as a public safety tool.
The visit by the Korean officials was an unusual cultural experience the staff won't soon forget. Before departing they were each presented a thermal lunch bag, with DC logo, loaded with information such as VINE, the Corrections Foundation, Cold Case Cards and pens. The 93 staff noticed that as much as we were different, we all seemed to share the same public safety priority. Public safety is number one, both here in Orlando, Florida and South Korea.
Pictured Left to Right: Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, Circuit Administrator Brian Wynns, Supervisor Mark Bevilacqua and Lt. Phil Petote, Polk County Sheriff's Office.
Polk County Sheriff's Office Recognizes Circuit for their Vital Assistance in Collecting Offender DNA Samples
On December 15, 2010, Circuit 10 Circuit Administrator Brian Wynns and Lake Wales Supervisor Mark Bevilacqua were presented a "Sheriff's Commendation" for their involvement and assistance in the collection of offender DNA samples. During the first quarter of 2010, the Polk County Sheriff's office received their first 100% compliance data report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), who oversees and monitors the collection of DNA specimens from offenders required to submit by statute. A DNA sample was successfully collected from every qualified offender sentenced in Polk County during the first quarter of 2010. Polk County is one of a few counties that have accomplished the 100% collection rate.
When the collection of DNA became statutorily the responsibility of every Sheriff's office in each county in Florida, Lt. Phil Petote of the Polk County Sheriff's Office made contact with the Circuit 10 office for assistance. If qualifying offenders fail to have their samples taken at sentencing, Lt. Petote sends a list of offenders who qualify for DNA submission to the Circuit office. The Circuit office identifies those offenders under current supervision and sends a request to the supervising officer to instruct the offender to report to the Probation office or to the Courthouse for DNA submission.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd presented this award to all of the Polk County Deputies assigned to duty at the Polk County Courthouse who are responsible for the collection of the DNA samples. During the presentation, Sheriff Judd spoke of the importance something as simple as DNA has in solving a crime when no other leads are available and what an important role the collection of DNA has become in the world of criminal forensics.
Sheriff Judd added that the perfect compliance report received could not have been attained without the assistance of the Probation and Parole office in Polk County and that the partnership established between the two agencies is what has made the difference between a satisfactory compliance report and a perfect compliance report. Sheriff Judd's commendation states "Because of your commitment to service, team spirit, and high level of cooperation, Polk County is a safer place in which to live, work, and play. On behalf of the Polk County Sheriff's office, I thank you and commend you for a job well done. Your actions are proof that together we can make a positive difference."
"Because of your commitment to service, team spirit, and high level of cooperation, Polk County is a safer place in which to live, work, and play. On behalf of the Polk County Sheriff's office, I thank you and commend you for a job well done. Your actions are proof that together we can make a positive difference."