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Schuylkill officials: Supervision numbers rise

Published November 13. 2019 01:23PM

From 2017 to 2018, the number of offenders released, but on electronic supervision, was about 2,000.

From 2018 to 2019 that number has increased to about 2,400.

That’s a lot of people to keep tabs on, and it’s resulted in a requested budget appropriation of $14,000 for Schuylkill County’s adult probation office.

No problem, the county commissioners said during a meeting Thursday.

“We’d much rather have them under your jurisdiction, as long as you can manage it,” said Commissioner Frank Staudenmeier.

Chairman George Halcovage, Commissioner Gary Hess and Staudenmeier unanimously approved the request. Neil Stefanisko, head of Adult Probation, said that if there is any issue with supervision, and the location of an offender, a probation/parole officer is sent to check on the person’s status.

Public safety is the primary concern, he said.

“There are always individuals who don’t follow the rules,” Stefanisko said. He said that the number of people on house arrest averaged from 150 to 200 per day. The increase in electronic monitoring has led to an increase in cost for staff, which include officers and clerical support staff.

In a related move, the commissioners approved a contract with Satellite Tracking of People LLC to provide electronic monitoring services for three years, from October 2019 through October 2022.

Stefanisko said the cost varies, according to the type of equipment being used for the monitoring.

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