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Probation program honored by county

Goettl’s office recognized for transition

The Jessamine County Fiscal Court recently honored members of the Jessamine County Attorney’s Office Criminal Justice Division with certificates of appreciation plaques for the successful creation and implementation of the Jessamine County Probation Monitoring Program in 2017.

 The program was created after the Kentucky Supreme Court passed a statute placing restrictions on the use of private companies for probation monitoring programs.

Ending its partnership with the Kentucky Alternative Program, Jessamine County placed the new program in the hands of Jessamine County Attorney Brian Goettl.

“I’m extremely proud of my team and their work on this,” Goettl said in a prepared statement. “I’m also grateful to Judge West and the Jessamine County Fiscal Court for having confidence in my team’s ability to complete the task so quickly and effectively.”

Goettl said the transition required a large amount of work in a small amount of time. Beginning in December 2016 and completed in January 2017, Goettl said his staff worked hard and did whatever they were asked in order to make the transition happen in one month’s time.

For 14 years KAP provided Jessamine County with a number of probation monitoring services which included insurance monitoring, drug testing, home incarceration and restitution at no cost to taxpayers with the defendants paying for the services.

Judge-Executive David West said the decision to change arose due to the fact that, around the Commonwealth, there had begun a groundswell of dissatisfaction with the way the program was previously operated. Legislators, he said, wanted to steer away from using private groups.

“Brian came up with the idea he would take it in-house,” West said. “He said, ‘we will handle it.’ It was a very rapid period of time. It was a whirlwind. They got it done and Jailer Sally has taken part of it as well. So they kind of tag teamed and created a brand new program from scratch that has some benefits to the county.”

One of those benefits, West said, is saving money. The fees that would have otherwise gone to the KAP are now directed back into the county’s general fund. That amount was approximately $36,000 in 2017.

“It saved the county money and that was the primary benefit that I was worried about,” West said. “It put the attorney in closer contact with these people. They know what is going on. It is not ‘did this person show up,’ or ‘did they not show up.’ Or ‘Are they abiding by probation terms?’ It is in-house so they do not have to contact a third party when the county attorney’s office took it over. I just knew I did not have to worry about it. When you have confidence in the people that are going to implement the program that is a Godsend.”