Minnesota Association of County Probation Officers is dedicated to promoting quality correctional practices through professional growth, leadership, education, communication and support.
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MACPO and American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) Partnership
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Huge 'Thank You' to the vendors who were able to attend MACPO's Fall Conference!
Greetings from scenic Itasca County. As the days begin to shorten, back-to-school sales kick in, and autumn approaches, there are a lot of things to highlight across the MACPO landscape. Before I dig into any of the specifics, allow me to share my observations of having been on the MACPO Board for the past 13-ish months. Prior to becoming the President-Elect in July of 2020, I had never served in any capacity on the Board. That isn’t to say I wasn’t familiar with the organization, yet I had never had the opportunity to actually take a look under the hood and see how it operates. The world is led by those who show up and the professionals who are showing up to comprise the executive board, committee chairs and committee members are showing up with their A-game. We are in good care.
For those of you I’ve not yet met – I’m the Director of Itasca County Probation. I spent the first decade of my career as felony agent with the DOC (working in Chisago, then Kanabec, then Itasca Counties), followed by 5 or 6 years as their EBP Coordinator. I switched over to CPO-land in 2013 and have really enjoyed the flexibility and autonomy that we have in this delivery system. Outside of work I’m just a stereotypical northern Minnesota guy. I hunt, fish, trap and participate in community musical theater. I tend to use 100 words when 5 would do and my greatest strengths are my rugged good looks and my deep sense of humility.
So then. There have been a couple of interesting things going on lately. Have you heard anything about this COVID pandemic thing? It’s apparently a big deal. Big enough to not be relegated to just 2020. Like a cheesy movie sequel that nobody wants to watch, the delta variant is making every effort to drag us through the same story line we suffered through last year. Boo. Hang in there. This too shall pass. Safety first. (Insert any other predictable clichés here.)
Shifting topics – If you haven’t heard about it, there is a pretty significant project underway that intends to address how community supervision is funded across the 3 delivery systems. The Council of State Governments (CSG), a federal consulting agency that makes legislative and policy recommendations to states, has been brought in to take an objective look at the current state of affairs and subsequently make recommendations to the legislature. A workgroup comprised of multiple reps from each delivery system has been meeting since December. One of the key elements of the CSG’s work includes an assessment of how probation/parole is currently being delivered across the state. Essentially, they are taking a look to see the extent to which we are adhering to the principles of evidence-based practices. Do we use risk assessments? Are we spending time addressing things that actually impact recidivism (and not just monitoring conditions)? That sort of thing. Not surprisingly, the initial feedback from them has been very affirming. The final report with recommendations is due December 15th, so the clock is a-tickin’. Stay tuned on this as it has the potential to significantly impact how delivery systems are funded.
That’s the latest from my end. I look forward to seeing you all at the Spring/Fall Conference in a couple of weeks!