Probation Officers Advisory Group to the United States Sentencing Commission
February 3 and 4, 2004
Minutes of Meeting
Meeting opened at 9:00 a.m. Present at the meeting were Cathy Battistelli, Colleen Rahill-Bueler, Joan Leiby, Betsy Ervin, David Wolfe, Barry Case, Mary Jo Aflack, Lisa Wirick, Felipe Ortiz, Ken Ramsdell, Deb Marshall, Suzanne Ferreira, Doug Mathis, Jim Mitzel Theresa Brown, and John Fitzgerald.
Pam Montgomery, Director and Chief Counsel of the Office of Education and Sentencing Practice, welcomed the group and indicated the Commissioners would be meeting in March to discuss the upcoming amendments.
The group discussed the telephone conference call from January regarding the proposed amendments and received additional staff briefings on issues pertaining to Child Pornography, Public Corruption, Drugs, Immigration, Mitigating Role and miscellaneous amendments. After lengthy discussion, the group reached consensus on the issues, the results of which can be found in the March 5, 2004 position paper.
Commissioners John Steer and Michael Horowitz welcomed the committee, emphasizing the importance of our work. Some of the issues discussed are based on legislative initiatives, but all are important. The commissioners encouraged POAG to let the USSC know our opinions as we provide a valuable resource in determining the best possible amendments.
The group discussed the importance of the national training program in Miami and the concern from several members that due to budgetary issues, many probation officers may not be able to attend. The Commission staff has asked POAG to conduct the Probation Officer’s session and the Chair asked for volunteers to help with this project. If enough POAG members are in attendance in Miami, the group may hold an informal meeting to discuss upcoming issues.
Pam Montgomery thanked Ken Ramsdell and Debra Marshall, the outgoing representatives for the 9th and 10 Circuits, for their time and service to the group. In appreciation for their efforts, Commission staff presented them with gifts recognizing the excellent work they had done while members of POAG.
Due to time constraints, administrative matters regarding charter changes, chair election procedures, and proactive issues were put on hold until the next meeting. Ms. Montgomery indicated that it did not appear that the group would be able to meet in Washington in the late spring of this year. Instead, the group would have our "proactive" session via a telephone conference.
Prior to the conclusion of the meeting, members were asked to assist in writing the position paper and to send their section(s) to the Chair by the beginning of March as the paper is due to the Commission by the second week of March.
The meeting adjourned at 1:00 pm.