Today in Commissioners Court, Commissioner John Wiley Price declared the week of July 14 through July 20 to be Probation, Parole, and Community Supervision week in honor of the work put forth by the Dallas County Community Supervision and Corrections department.
The Community Supervision and Corrections department supervises adult offenders within the community and provides services and support to victims. All commissioners praised the department for their commitment to the county as the Court audience stood and applauded. Commissioner Price called the department “an essential part of the justice system,” and lauded their ability to “uphold the law with dignity.”
When Craig Schenkel heard that two Oak Cliff high schools, Sunset and Adamson, had budgetary constraints that made it difficult for the schools to fulfill their needs, Schenkel and his business partner stepped up. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia, on behalf of the Dallas County Commissioners Court, extended thanks and honored Schenkel’s commitment to Dallas County public education today.
Paying particular attention to athletic programs, Schenkel helped to support the school administration, raising and donating thousands of dollars to the marching band, drill team, football, basketball and tennis teams. Following a theft at Sunset high school last year, Schenkel informed his friends and, soon after, an anonymous check for $5,375 was written to replace the stolen items and paid for a students’ sports banquet at the end of the year, something that could not have happened without the donation.
Judge Jenkins honored Schenkel’s commitment to the schools and thanked him for “setting an example of leadership in action.”
The House of Renewed Hope is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was founded in 2010 by Christopher Scott to address the issue of wrongful conviction. Christopher Scott was wrongfully convicted, sentenced to life in prison and served nearly 13 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit.
Thanks to the collaborative efforts of Mr. Scott’s attorney, Michelle Moore, and the Conviction Integrity Unit at the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Scott was proven innocent and his conviction was overturned in 2009. Upon his release, Christopher Scott soon established an agency to investigate legitimate claims of innocence of incarcerated individuals in Texas. The Dallas Morning News, in fact, honored Mr. Scott in 2012 as Texan of the Year for his work.
Commissioner Price choked up when recalling the birth of the exoneration project and praised Scott and the staff saying “There is no one more qualified to speak on wrongful convictions than the men and women who have suffered these unspeakable miscarriages of justice.” House of Renewed Hope is actively examining criminal cases where convicted Texas inmates have consistently maintained their innocence and there is sufficient cause or evidence to warrant a fresh investigation and post-conviction DNA testing. The organization’s annual fundraising event will be held on July 9, 2013, at 300 Dallas in Addison, Texas. Funds generated will be earmarked to help pay for DNA testing, polygraph testing and services, court, consultant and attorneys’ fees, private investigator training and licensing for exonerees, ongoing education and training costs, travel costs and general operating expenses.
Dallas County Commissioners recognized the tremendous contributions to public health and innovation by Thabit Pulak, in Commissioners Court today. Thabit Pulak will be a senior at Richardson High School in the fall and will be representing his class as the Senior President.
He has developed an innovative and affordable new filter to eliminate dangerous levels of arsenic from drinking water which is currently being tested in Bangladesh. According to a study by the University of Chicago over seventy-seven million individuals in Bangladesh have been exposed to toxic levels of arsenic and arsenic poisoning caused by contaminated drinking water.
Judge Jenkins added that the innovation is not only relevant to Bangladesh but that there are people who risk exposure to arsenic in water in the U.S as well and then praised the system that educated such a visionary young man, saying “and can we just give credit where it’s due – Thabit is a Dallas County schools student!”