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Probation officials recognized

Published July 15. 2011 05:01PM

Carbon County adult and juvenile probation officials are a few of many recognized this week during the national Probation, Parole, and Community Supervision Week.

During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, the board of commissioners adopted a proclamation proclaiming July 17 through July 23 as a time to honor the men and women who "are the backbone of the probation and parole process and an essential part of the criminal justice system."

Commissioner William O'Gurek, chairman, said the county appreciates the officers who make a difference in the county by serving as a guiding light to the misguided youths and adults in the community.

"I think often we read about people sentenced to court and not many people stop and think what goes into that process before, during and after, and at the heart of that process are the probation officers. on behalf of this board and county I want to thank you," he said before reading the proclamation.

Roberta Brewster, county court administrator; Ronald Kokinda, chief of adult probation; and Kimmy Mulik, chief juvenile probation officer, accepted the proclamation.

The proclamation states that "probation and parole officers/agents are sworn peace officers who work primarily in the community, seeing parolees at home, at work and on the streets and are on call 24/7 to respond to emergencies and urgent problems. Probation and parole officers/agents are on the front line in providing both supervision and counseling to offenders and operate to uphold the law and safeguard the public from criminal activity during an inmate's transition from incarceration to the community.

"(They) have many roles, from enforcement officer or behavioral counselor to social worker or job counselor, while monitoring an offender's behavior and activities, working to ensure the offender's compliance with all laws and the conditions of probation and parole, and assisting the offender with securing housing and employment, addressing treatment and service needs and helping the offender make a positive adjustment to life in the community. ... Probation, Parole, and Community Supervision Week is a time to recognize and celebrate the dedicated and caring individuals in the community who work tirelessly to make neighborhoods safer and more vibrant places to live and raise families and work to give offenders a second chance and be productive members of society."

Following the presentation of the proclamation to Brewster, Kokinda and Mulik, Commissioners Charles Getz and Wayne Nothstein also thanked them and their departments for the dedication they have to the court system.

In other matters, Getz announced that the inmate litter crew is out picking up litter along the highways in the county.

"They're doing a good job," he said.

But, Getz said someone already had thrown trash back out on the shoulders of a highway that was just cleaned.

"It's unbelievable how some people just do not care."

Nothstein also extended his appreciation for the Kidder Township Police Chief Joseph Protasiewicz's service on the county Local Emergency Planning Committee. The county accepted Protasiewicz's resignation from the committee on Thursday. Officials are now looking for a new police officer to join the committee.

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