CATSKILL — Greene County renewed its alternatives to incarceration funding for almost $6,000 in its yearly application for the state funds.

The county Legislature passed a resolution June 16 allowing the director of Greene County Probation to submit an application to the state for $5,835 to begin July 1.

Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden said the state funding application is an annual occurrence for the same dollar amount. Probation Director Alan Frisbee said the amount has been largely unchanged for the last 10 years.

“It’s kind of just a general revenue for the office,” Groden said.

Frisbee said the amount of funding the department receives is based on a formula including people ordered by criminal courts to complete community service.

“The money is based on the number of people assigned to the program and the number of people who complete it,” Frisbee said.

As of May 1, the Greene County Probation Department supervises 229 adults in convicted or adjudicated status, 95 of whom are felons and 134 are misdemeanants; seven adults in pre-trial status, of whom five are for felonies and two are for misdemeanors; and 23 juveniles, according to the department’s website.

Frisbee said the department receives about $128 per person assigned to the program and roughly $167 per person who completes the program.

Greene County’s alternatives to incarceration program has been ongoing since 1986 and “provides the criminal courts with a sentencing alternative through the use of community service for offenders with sentences of adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, conditional discharge or probation,” according to the website, according to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

Probation is considered an alternative to incarceration, Groden said. The funding — which began July 1 and will expire June 30, 2022 — is “nothing compared to the departmental budget,” Groden said. The department’s 2021 adopted budget was more than $1.5 million, according to the county budget.

Frisbee said as the department’s expenses increase, state funding has mostly remained the same. The general probation operation also receives about $122,000 from the state annually, a figure that has also remained mostly unchanged, he said.

“It’s not a whole lot of money,” Frisbee said.

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(1) comment


About Alternatives To Incarceration. Greene County just committed $90 million over 30 years to incarceration. The obvious trend everywhere else is to reduce incarceration.

Greene County Director of Probation, Alan Frisbee, believes his program is an alternative to incarceration, but it’s not.

When I deposed Mr. Frisbee at one of my many prosecutions, I asked: “Mr. Frisbee, did you take psychology in college” He said he couldn’t remember. I then asked if he remembered any of the psychology from the class he couldn’t remember he took. I withdrew the question. I have the transcripts.

Greene County prosecuted me for writing to our children and family after 9/11. Frisbee’s team wrote several PreSentencing Investigation (“PSI”) reports about me. The term gaslighting comes to mind when I read them. The “victim statement” at the end of the trial was ghost-written by Frisbee’s Laura Baeckman. Although my partner would not cooperate with them, they prosecuted me anyway.

We are victims of 9/11. Here’s the video I took on 9/11.

Frisbee’s group has no real talent. Like the County Sheriff’s Department, they have no psychiatric licenses. Greene County. The basic medical for the new jail was outsourced to Pennsylvania. It doesn’t support substantive mental health.

The real ATI committee, which I provoked, met weekly twenty times. It was chaired by Dr. Lori Torgerson, the legislator from Windham. Dr. Torgerson has a Ph.D. in psychology and twenty years of experience in criminal justice. When the results of the ATI committee were thoroughly ignored, she resigned as a legislator.

The astonishing intransigent incompetence of Mr. Frisbee’s department is due to ignorance. It’s not that Mr. Frisbee isn’t intelligent. He simply blocks the academic knowledge education in psychology could provide. This is true of his staff, unfortunately.

When I proposed a standing funded ATI committee, County Administrator Shaun Groden wrote to Hon. Lisa Fisher and complained. Fisher chastised Groden and Kaplan, then recused. Crossing the boundary from the legislative to the judicial branch violates all separation of power laws.

The poor in Greene County are ignored by everyone but law enforcement and jailers. That’s a shame. It’s also a mistake.

The COVID-19 stimulus money btw can’t be used to pay debts (like the jail debt). It appears that Greene County can’t figure out what to do with the money. Greene County’s one of the poorest counties in the state. The lack of vision by the county administrators perpetuates this real problem.

The $90 million wasted on a needless jail, the $6.8 million wasted to destroy the Sheriff’s Office, represent poor judgment. Frisbee’s group is not an alternative to incarceration. There’s no substantive remedial talent there.

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