Funny business -- UPDATE II | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Funny business -- UPDATE II

Posted By on Tue, Jul 24, 2007 at 9:34 AM

Amid persistent rumors that a state audit is nearing completion of Judge Willard Proctor's curious Cycle Breakers probation program, comes this  resolution for Quorum Court consideration, written by Proctor and sponsored by JP Mary Louise Williams.

Whereas the Quorum Court recognizes that in order to deal with crime Prevention and Intervention programs are essential; and

Whereas the Pulaski County Circuit Court, Fifth Division has a probation department which is charged with the responsibility of providing serves that will help to rehabilitate criminal defendants thereby preventing future crimes; and

Whereas the Pulaski County Circuit Court, Fifth Division has worked with Cycle Breakers, Inc. in helping to sponsors programs that will help to rehabilitate criminal defendant.

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED THAT:

1. Employees of Pulaski County are authorized to receive compensation and reimbursements from Cycle Breakers, Inc. for their services as security, drivers, group leaders, and staff at the Quarterly Mandatory Meetings, Monthly Meetings, Daily Meetings, Chemical Free Program, Anger Management/Domestic Violence Classes and other activities related to the rehabilitation of criminal defendants.

2. Employees of Pulaski County are further authorized to receive compensation and reimbursements from Cycle Breakers, Inc. for tuition, training, meetings, and other classes that they attended to further their qualifications, skills or education.

What's this about? Good question. Whatever it's about, the Quorum Court shouldn't rush off half-cocked to fiddle with a program that needs a long, thorough, public examination.

I don't understand the need for private judicial probation programs -- rather than the state probation services -- that a handful of judges operate. They look too much like political organizations and are too prone to being populated with friends, fellow church members. etc. We're nervous when, even in an honest zeal to rehabilitate, judges might create the appearance that probationary sentences are for sale for payments to the their non-profit organizations. We are not enamored of programs run by judicial fiat -- from fees to terms of rehab to employment to establishment of related non-profits that can engage in sometimes controversial real estate dealing -- without public oversight. We are fearful of judges controlling non-profit organizations that depend on charity for financial support. What's to prevent a lawyer with business before a certain court to earn favor in ways not readily apparent to the public by contributing to such an organization? These are but a few of the problems that can arise, no matter how good the intentions, in programs without public accountability. Has the state audit raised some questions about employment procedures in Proctor's program? I don't know. If so, the Quorum Court would be best advised to move carefully, not hastily.

UPDATE -- This matter is even worse than I thought. I now have a copy of another proposed ordinance, It also was authored by Judge Proctor and proposed by JP Williams. It authorizes employees of Proctor's court to collect fines, probation fees and other costs that he assesses, in place of the circuit clerk. It also allows Proctor's employees to receive and disburse restitution payments. The ordinance provides for some reporting on this procedure. A little late to close this barn door, don't you think?

UPDATE II: These proposals are up for consideration by the Quorum Court TONIGHT on an emergency basis, without going through committee as is customary. A rules suspension will be necessary. Is this Quorum Court serious about rebuilding its credibility? Or not?

UPDATE III: I'm not sure, because I wasn't hooked to the TV, but I think a vote to suspend the rules to consider these proposals tonight failed.

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (12)

Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • North Little Rock mayor shows downtown plaza plan

    North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith is presenting a plan to the City Council tonight for a downtown plaza meant to augment planned private developments and further enhanced downtown as a destination.
    • Sep 25, 2017
  • Attorney general asks for continued secrecy on execution drugs

    As expected, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has asked the Arknasas Supreme Court for an "emergency stay" of a lower court ruling that the Correction Department must produce labels from one of the drugs used in executions.
    • Sep 25, 2017
  • Groups seek end to commercial collection of wild turtles

    Several environmental organizations to end commercial turtle collection in Arkansas.The harvests (more than 126,000 turtles from 2014 to 2016) are not sustainable and that, in turn, is damaging to ecosystems, the groups said.
    • Sep 25, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016
  • Trump's strangulation of Obamacare

    If he can't kill it outright, Donald Trump will do all he can to cripple Obamacare. Vox has detailed reporting on deep cuts in federal spending that support nonprofit agencies that help people sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
    • Sep 18, 2017
  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation