Patrick probation proposal not included in House budget plan

By Bruce Mohl

The House budget plan is not expected to include Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposal to move the state’s probation service out of the judiciary and into the executive branch, according to a source briefed on the situation.

Meet the Author

Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

Patrick had proposed in his budget plan merging probation with parole as part of a new department of community supervision. He said the new entity would bring Massachusetts in line with other states and save more than $15 million by eliminating duplicative services. He said the new management structure would also address concerns he has about probation being a legislative patronage haven.

The source said the House is not going to embrace the governor’s plan, although it was unclear whether the House Ways and Means budget for fiscal 2011 would make any other changes in regard to probation. The Ways and Means budget is scheduled for release Wednesday.

Robert A. Mulligan, the trial court’s chief justice for administration and management, has called on the Legislature to restore to him oversight over probation’s budget, its 2,200 employees, and its commissioner. Michael Keating, who heads a court advisory group, calls probation “an island of its own.”