Yesterday I was writing about the effects of budget cuts on poor people in this state. But somehow the Probation Department's budget continues to climb: "... state funding rose by 163 percent from 1998 to 2008, according to a study in December by the Crime and Justice Institute, a period in which budgets for prisons, sheriff’s offices, and other public safety agencies grew by no more than 20 percent."
The troubles at the state Probation Department go way beyond patronage. Key programs have gone astray, with bloated budgets and indifferent management; caseload reports are wildly exaggerated; and a culture of secrecy has enveloped it all.
Local readers in particular should pay attention to the claims of patronage swirling around State Rep. Thomas Petrolati, Seventh Hampden. - Consisting of precinct B of ward 6, of the city of Chicopee, the town of Ludlow, precincts E, F and G of ward 8, of the city of Springfield, all in the county of Hampden; and precincts B and C, of the town of Belchertown, in the county of Hampshire.