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Judge revokes Hirsh’s parole

Ex-trooper given seven days in jail, 18 months probation

POSTED April 14, 2018 2:12 p.m.

Since he did not complete a batterer’s intervention program as required under his post-release agreement, former Kansas Highway Patrol trooper Darrin Hirsh’s parole will be revoked, 20th Judicial District Judge Scott McPherson ruled Friday afternoon.
McPherson then ordered Hirsh to spend seven days in the Barton County Jail. After that, he will back on parole for another 18 months, but under added scrutiny to complete the BIP.
Hirsh was found guilty in Dec. 22 2015, of one count of aggravated assault, two counts of criminal threat and one count of domestic battery, all involving an altercation on March 12, 2013, with his now ex-wife Candice Hirsh. He was sentenced in May 2016 to 12 months in prison.
Hirsh was also found guilty of criminal threat and domestic battery. Sentences for those crimes ran concurrently.
In October 2017, the Kansas Court of Appeals has overturned Hirsh’s conviction of aggravated assault.
McPherson said Friday Hirsh had 14 days to appeal the parole revocation.

The hearing
Assistant Kansas Attorney General Jessica Domme called two witnesses Friday afternoon, first was Talia Smith, a probation officer with the 24th Judicial District who handled Hirsh’s case, and Alicia Landrum, a counselor from Great Bend who worked with Hirsh in her batterer’s intervention program.
Under direct examination from Domme, Smith said she met with Hirsh in November 2016 and went over all the terms and conditions of his parole. This included completing a Kansas Domestic Violence Offender Assessment followed by completing the BIP.
Smith said he signed off on the agreements, took the assessment, was deemed appropriate to take a BIP and then enrolled in one.
However, through no fault of Hirsh’s, that first program lost its certification. This meant another BIP had to be found and entered.
Hirsh did then and started the second program in July 2017, Smith said. However, come December 2017, he “received an unsuccessful termination.”
This meant that he was then in violation of his parole and a parole violation case was filed, Smith said. She also noted he did not seem interested in trying again and wanted instead to await the outcome of court proceedings on the matter.
Hirsh, acting as his own attorney, cross examined Smith.
He asked if he had violated any other of the conditions. Smith said no.
Hirsh, who had been told he had problems handling denials, asked if he had exhibited any such behavior with Smith.
She said yes.
Hirsh also maintained he hadn’t received all the appropriate documents outlining what the expectations of him were.
When Landrum took the stand, she told Domme Hirsh had started with her in July 2017. And, at first, things went well and he was an active participant.
As requirements to complete the training, Landrum said participants must attend a minimum of 24 sessions plus orientations, complete all assignments, follow the rules and be actively involved in the classes.
“It’s not just enough to show up,” she said. The goal is to make students change the way they think and be accountable for their actions.
In Hirsh’s case, he attended 23 sessions, Landrum said. “His participation from July through September was very good then it became minimal. He was not taking responsibility for the violence.”
Concerned, she and other facilitators talked to Hirsh in November. But, there was no change, in fact in one session she said he made inappropriate comments regarding victims .
So, in December, Landrum told Hirsh he was not making enough progress and that he would have to find another program. He was given referrals.
He did not do this, the court was told.
Hirsh, in his cross examination, asked Landrum if taking notes was adequate, which he said he was doing.
“You must be an active participant,” she responded. And, she said, he had no evidence of any note taking.

Closing statements
In her closing remarks, Domme said she doubts he has the will or desire to complete a BIP.
Throughout his closing statement, Hirsh maintained the document he had from his parole officer didn’t specifically say “complete” the intervention training, just undergo the assessment and take the training. He also said he feels he hasn’t any problems with violence and that he was unfairly terminated from Landrum’s program.
But, “here’s the black and white,” McPherson said, referring to a court journal entry signed by both now retired District Judge Ron Svaty and Hirsh. It outlined all the parole conditions, including completion of a BIP.
“You are under the order of the court, not a parole officer,” the judge said. And, Hirsh failed to comply with that order.
Domme first suggested the seven days in jail with continued parole, but also floated the idea of six months behind bars. Although Hirsh had otherwise been a model parolee,she feared they would all be back in court in 18 months with the same problem.
McPherson shared this concern, laying down the law with Hirsh in his order to take a new assessment, enroll in a BIP and complete it.

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