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Southeast Nebraska is welcoming a new chief probation officer to the area.

Ashley Griess was introduced Wednesday during the Gage County Board of Supervisors’ regular meeting. Griess began her role in the first judicial district earlier this month.

The district includes Fillmore, Gage, Jefferson, Johnson, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, Richardson, Saline, and Thayer Counties.

As probation chief, Griess will manage a staff of more than 40 employees, which includes 25 probation officers in six office locations throughout the district.

“We provide programing that’s based off of evidence-based practices,” she said. “Programing that we know is proven to work. We create constructive change through collaboration, rehabilitation and partnership to enhance safe communities.”

In 2018 the department served 1,790 clients under three district judges and six county judges. In Gage County, 523 clients were served, including 90 juveniles.

Griess shared facts and figures with the board, including statistics about probation’s success rate in Gage County.

“With the adult population, it says that 79 percent of them were successful here in Gage County,” she said. “What that is based on is not receiving a new law violation within the first three years of being released from probation. For the juvenile population it is 70 percent success rate, and that is looked at one year after their term of completing their probation.”

Griess has served as the chief deputy in district 1 since 2017. She joined the judicial branch in 2011 and has experience as a specialized officer in both the adult and juvenile justice systems. She is an experienced statewide trainer in a multitude of topics including motivational interviewing, case management, advanced coaching for excellence, and continuous quality Improvement practices.

Griess earned her bachelor of arts degree from the University of Nebraska-Omaha in Psychology.

She will be sworn in on Oct. 21 in Saline County.

Griess was introduced by Jeremy Behrends, who held the position since 2016.

“I just wanted to thank you guys for your support,” he said. “I know you’ve had a very unique set of circumstances when crafting the budget and things like that. Your support of probation has been fantastic. It’s been really great and so I thank you all for your support. Relationships are very important to our office and having a good relationship with the counties we serve, especially Gage, is extremely important.”

Behrends joined the Nebraska Probation System in 1999 and graduated from Norris High School in 1993, and from the University of Nebraska in 1998 with a criminal justice degree.

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