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SHSU Update for Week of October 3

Beto Participates in Probation Study

Violent crime rates have fallen nationally by 26 percent since 1993, but if the good news is to continue, we must do a better job of supervising three million probationers that live among us.

This is the conclusion of a recent report from the Manhattan Institute, a New York City think tank known for its solutions to tough urban problems. Dan Beto, director of the Correctional Management Institute of Texas in the George J. Beto Criminal Justice Center at Sam Houston State University, was one of 14 national experts who studied the problem for two years and issued the report.

Beto was appointed to the Reinventing Probation Council that studied the issue as the result of his 26 years experience as a probation officer and supervisor. He was named to his present position in 1994.

The report concludes that probation isn't working, and blames lack of support that has resulted in weak funding and under staffing. Most states spend $20,000 to $50,000 per year for each person in the prison system, but only $200 per year per probationer for supervision. "This has led to average probation caseloads between 100 to 500 offenders per probation officer," the report states. "No wonder recidivism rates are so high!"

Inadequate funding is not the sole blame, however, according to the report. Drug testing procedures and seeing probationers only in office settings for short periods (5-20 minutes per month) are among practices that need to be examined.

"Not all probation offices fit our examples," the report states. "Many talented probation administrators and field staff struggle to find more effective methods of supervision. Some have succeeded, but unfortunately, most have not."

Anyone who would like a full copy of the report can contact the Office of Public Relations at Sam Houston State University, at 409-294-1833.

Faculty Recitals, Air Force Band

Concerts by two talented Sam Houston State University music faculty members and an appearance by the U. S. Air Force Band of the West highlight the upcoming music performance week.

Peggy DeMers will present a horn faculty recital at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 5) in the Recital Hall.

Hiromi Matsunaga, who has performed extensively in the United States and her native Japan, will present a faculty piano recital at 7:30 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 7) in the Recital Hall at Sam Houston State University.

Matsunaga, who presented her New York recital debut at Carnegie Weill Recital Hall in 1994, will perform works by Sergei Prokofieff, Alberto Ginastera, Edward MacDowell, and Maurice Ravel.

Matsunaga's many awards include the Roy M. Rubinstein Award from the Manhattan School of Music, the Japanese American Association of New York Music Award, Phi Mu Alpha Outstanding Musicianship Award, Louise Powell Outstanding Performers Award, and a scholarship from the Houston Tuesday Music Club.

She has been on the piano faculty at SHSU since 1998, returning to the school where she received her bachelor of music degree as a student of John Paul. She completed her master of music and doctor of musical arts degrees at the Manhattan School of Music.

The Air Force Band of the West will perform a concert at 7 p.m. Friday (Oct. 8) in Killinger Auditorium of the Beto Criminal Justice Center. Tickets are free, and available from several Huntsville locations, including the SHSU music department.

Student Life Issues Alcohol Alert

In 1997, 6,258 15-20 year olds were killed in traffic crashes, and more than one third of those (2,209) were in alcohol related accidents.

That statistic is just one of several being provided by the Office of Student Life at Sam Houston State University to organizations and students, encouraging them to prevent alcohol tragedies. Several steps were suggested for organizations:

  • Do not purchase alcohol with chapter, club or organization funds and no alcohol should be served from common containers;
  • Host no open or all campus parties where alcohol is served;
  • Allow only students with current, valid SHSU identification to attend;
  • Do not serve alcohol to minors;
  • No "drinking games";
  • When alcohol is served, employ at least one uniformed, state licensed officer per 50 persons;
  • Appoint designated drivers for each event when alcohol is served;
  • Also serve food and non-alcoholic beverages.
Organizations were also asked to review Texas State University System, university, and student life policies on alcohol use and hazing.

Greater Huntsville College Night

An estimated 400-500 students from area high schools and representatives from approximately 50 educational and military institutions are expected for the Greater Huntsville College Night from 6-8 p.m. Monday (Oct. 4) in Johnson Coliseum at Sam Houston State University.

Any student interested in attending any college is invited to attend and learn general information in such areas as admissions, scholarships, and financial aid, and specific information about the schools that will be represented.

Mental Health Awareness Day

The Counseling Center, Health Center and Wellness Committee at Sam Houston State University are sponsoring the Fall Mental Health Awareness and Screening Day Thursday (Oct. 7) from 10 am to 3 p. m. in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

This event is in conjunction with National Depression Screening Day.

"The purpose of this event is to educate people about anxiety, depression, alcohol abuse and eating problems," said Pamela McManus, counseling psychologist in the SHSU Counseling Center.

"People will learn about the symptoms of these disorders, the impact on their personal and academic life and the help available in resolving these concerns."

There will be videos and literature about the disorders and staff will be available for discussion. There will be four brief screening instruments, and individuals make take one or all of them.

A feature of the event offered this year for the first time will allow individuals to take a screening instrument to ascertain if friends or family members have symptoms of a disorder. Literature will be available on helping family members or friends.

Fulgham Retirement Reception

A retirement reception for Iola Fulgham, accounting clerk in the Office of Contracts and Grants, is scheduled for 2-3:30 p.m. Friday (Oct. 8) in the Walker Education Center.

Fulgham has 20 years service to Sam Houston State University, and plans to spend more time with her family in Kansas and Tennessee.

For more information, including how to participate in a retirement gift, contact Paige Smith at 409-294-1091.

- END -

SHSU Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
October 3, 1999
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to Today@Sam.edu

This page maintained by SHSU's Office of Public Relations
Director: Frank Krystyniak
Communications Coordinator: Julia May
Located in the SHSU University Advancement Building
Telephone: (409) 294-1836; Fax: (409) 294-1834
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