New drunk driver monitoring program to start in Pope CountyWith a goal of reducing the number of drunk driving offenses, the Pope County Probation Department has started a new intensive supervision program for repeat DWI offenders.
With a goal of reducing the number of drunk driving offenses, the Pope County Probation Department has started a new intensive supervision program for repeat DWI offenders.
Terry Jaworski, a probation officer with 13 years of experience in Stearns County, has been hired to head up the new program.
According to Melanie Courrier, the director of Pope County Probation, there are currently 55 repeat drunk drivers on probation in Pope County.
“Pope County has, on a per capita basis, had more than its share of serious accidents caused by drunk drivers,” she said.
The new program will increase probation monitoring. This includes field visits, checking up on people in their homes, at local bars, and other places.
The probation officer will also monitor treatment programs and drug and alcohol testing.
Courrier, who is a recent past president of the Minnesota Association of County Probation Officers, stated that she has studied intensive supervision programs in other counties around the state. Positive outcomes of similar ISP programs include an increase in public safety resulting from a decrease in repeat drunk driving offenses.
According to District Judge Jon Stafsholt, who serves Pope County and surrounding counties, he routinely sentences repeat drunk drivers to jail, but he suspends part of the jail sentence on various conditions, including successfully completing probation and alcohol or drug treatment.
“My goal is to have people leave the criminal justice system better than when they went in,” he said. “Intensive supervised probation has proven to be an effective way to make a positive difference in people’s lives and to make communities safer.”