Misdemeanor Freedom Week begins Feb. 25
by GREG KAYLOR, Banner Staff Writer
Feb 17, 2013 | 647 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Bradley County Misdemeanor Probations Office helped hundreds of probation violators last year during “Freedom Week.”

Approximately 1,700 alleged probation violators’ names will be published in the Banner prior to “Freedom Week 2013.”

This year, the officers of the court will also be trying to help those who are in the program but have not been keeping with the guidelines of their probation.

In an effort to alleviate outstanding misdemeanor warrants, officials with Bradley County Misdemeanor Probations Department will once again offer Freedom Week. The week is set to begin Feb. 25 and end March 1. Names of individuals who may have warrants for their arrests will be published in the Banner prior to the beginning of Freedom Week.

“Probation is trying to evolve and grow with each new year, which ultimately means that since Bradley County's population has increased, unfortunately, so has crime,” said Kim Cheek of the office.

“We are seeing bothersome cases with [charges such as] Immediate Meth Precursor (more people trying to obtain ingredients to manufacture methamphetamine), Driving Under the Influence 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Offense, and Theft under $500/Shoplifting. All these crimes, along with dozens of other misdemeanor charges, affect the residents of our county,” she added.

“Citizens of Bradley County pay to house these folks [probation violators] in the local jail, pay increased pricing on goods and services in our local stores to cover losses from theft/shoplifting, live next door to a meth lab, or drive on our public roads with individuals [who are] drunk or high and endanger our lives and the lives of our loved ones,” Cheek said.

Judgments issued by the courts to those placed on misdemeanor probation may include:

n Failure to perform community service;

n Lack of payments on fines, costs, restitution or fees;

n Missed appointments; and

n Failure to attend DUI schools.

Director Rich Kienlen said these are just a few examples where those granted probation reportedly failed to follow guidelines and have had new warrants issued for their arrest.

“Many of our community's children come to school unprepared because their parents may have custody of them but fail to parent their children due to their own selfish lifestyle of drugs, alcohol, unemployment, disinterest in education for their children, and disinterest to have a good life and want more for their children. If you don't believe it — ask a teacher, a police officer, a local pastor, or your own children. Bradley County Misdemeanor Probation supervises about four percent of the adult population at this time,” said Cheek.

“The Probation Office will take phone calls for Freedom Week 2013, allowing those probationers whose names are published on Feb. 24 in the Cleveland Daily Banner, to work out agreements to lower cash bonds and do recalls on warrants to get individuals back on track with probation and contributing back to our community,” Kienlen said.

“If you know someone whose name appears in the publication, contact them and help us try to improve our community. This will allow the local law enforcement agencies to focus on other priorities during that week. Please contact Bradley County Misdemeanor Probation at 423-728-7121.”

Also, anyone who knows of someone who was in the program who has passed away is asked to contact the office.

“Once again, we are looking forward to the Cleveland Daily Banner working with us for a public service,” Kienlen said.