The Union – Ideas & Opinions March 4, 2015
The citizens of Nevada County owe a debt of gratitude to retired Supervising Probation Officer Cyna Kern, and Retired Nevada County Sheriff Sergeant Steve Mason.
For the past 17 years, these two extraordinary people have worked tirelessly to protect the people of Nevada County from the ravages of drug-fueled criminality.
Because of their extensive experience in the field, and their dedication to the mission of the Nevada County Court’s Adult Drug Court program, these two magnificent people have helped identify appropriate candidate/criminals to divert away from costly and ineffective prison system, and into a system of treatment and supervision that restores them to productive citizenship, holding jobs, paying taxes, raising families, and contributing to society.
As judges working for the citizens of Nevada County, we took calculated risks on more than 100 people with extensive criminal histories, by diverting them into a system of supervised treatment and rehabilitation.
For 17 years, Steve and Cyna had our backs and yours, working long and irregular hours to supervise this very risky population.
To their everlasting credit, not a single one of the more than 100 defendants admitted to Adult Drug Court committed a violent crime while under the supervision of Steve and Cyna.
All of us have reaped the benefits of Steve and Cyna’s labor of love because our homes haven’t been broken into, our jails and prisons have been less costly, and our tax dollars have been saved from being squandered with serial prosecutions and incarcerations that never came to be.
We reaped those benefits because Steve and Cyna steered these drug-addicted offenders out of the criminal justice system and onto the path of recovery and productive citizenship.
The savings to us as taxpayers are in the millions, according to a 2009 state study.
And that doesn’t take into account the value restored to the husbands, wives, children, parents and grandparents whose lives have been fulfilled, because their loved one has been resurrected off the criminal scrap heap.
Many times, when program money was short or non-existent, what was needed to facilitate the remarkable transition from serial offender to productive citizen appeared, because these two reached into their own pockets to make it so.
They became the pseudo-parents to these otherwise prison-bound offenders, helping them learn to make better decisions and avoid relapse into drug-fueled criminal behavior.
Steve and Cyna’s personal touch was instrumental in teaching these drug-addicted offenders the life lessons required to correct those basics flaws that contributed to their prior criminality.
The results of Steve’s and Cyna’s efforts have been nothing short of miraculous.
We, the judges of Nevada County who have worked closely with Steve Mason and Cyna Kern over this incredible 17-year mission of public safety and humanity, honor their service, and thank them, on behalf of the citizens of Nevada County that we swore our oaths to protect.
Judge Albert P. Dover (ret) Drug Court 1998-2001 Judge John H. Darlington (ret) Drug Court 1999 – 2006 Judge Robert L. Tamietti Drug Court 2005-2010 Judge Tom M. Anderson Drug Court 2010-2015