POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Monitoring more than 3,000 residents on probation a year keeps members of the Dutchess County Office of Probation & Community Corrections’ Electronic Monitoring and Warrant Unit on the run from dusk to dawn.
To show appreciation for their hard work and to recognize National Pretrial, Probation and Parole Supervision Week, Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro recently joined officers from the unit (one of the several in the division) to learn more about the county’s electronic monitoring program.
Electronic monitoring is an alternative-to-incarceration program for residents charged with misdemeanors or felonies, including drug offenses, DWI, assaults and property crimes. So far this year, 149 residents have been assigned to electronic monitoring.
The monitoring allows probation officers to continuously supervise probationers in their homes and/or at their place of employment through the use of a small transmitter attached to the individual’s ankle. If an individual leaves his or her home without authorization, probation officers receive a notification generated by the electronic monitoring equipment.
Molinaro joined officers for several routine electronic monitoring checkups with residents in the community. While at the individuals’ homes, the officers verified the location of the monitoring transmitter, spoke with the individuals regarding their progress under the program and performed breath tests in cases where it was ordered by the court.
“The work done by our probation officers goes well beyond their daily supervision of adult and juvenile offenders. During our electronic monitoring supervision visits, I observed the officers’ interactions with the probationers assigned to this program and was impressed by the sincere and genuine approach officers took to assist individuals to complete the program, ultimately to help lead to a more successful and productive way of life," Molinaro said.
Electronic monitoring has played a significant role in lowering the number of days served by defendants in custody as well as assisted with reducing the number of juveniles placed in non-secure and secure detention. It also is an effective tool for decreasing the recidivism rate because it allows individuals under intensive supervision to remain employed or in school.
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