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Issue of October 22, 2014
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Sheila Temple is the Harrison County adult chief probation officer following the retirement of Diane Harrison in December. Photo by Bobby Shipman

There's a new chief in probation

June 25, 2014 | 09:28 AM

The new Harrison County adult chief probation officer said she recognized her calling while in high school.

Sheila Temple took over the position in November when Diane Harrison, who had been in the position since 1995, retired in December. Temple was appointed her successor by Harrison Superior Court Judge Roger D. Davis.

Temple began working at the Harrison County Justice Center in 1997 as a probation officer and was promoted to alcohol-drug program director in 2009. Since Temple's appointment as chief probation officer, Jeff Skaggs now is the alcohol-drug program director.

"I continue to supervise clients, which I love; I don't want to give that up," Temple said. "But, it's more administrative work that I didn't have to handle prior."

Temple said she realized her calling to assist people in unfortunate family situations when she was a teenager.

"In high school, I was involved with a peer helpers group," she said. "We were able to receive some training (on what to do) if another student came to us with a problem."

That training included learning about available programs to which they could direct students, how to talk to them about their problems and to recognize if the student needed help from someone in a higher position.

"From there, I saw the need people had — not that they were in trouble, but their families were — and it caused them disruption," she said. "From there, I kind of fell in love with that."

Temple majored in sociology at the University of Southern Indiana with a concentration in criminology.

"In college, I did an internship with another county probation department, and I was writing pre-sentences at that time," she said. "I have always had an interest in the criminal justice field and, after my internship, I knew this was the direction I wanted to go."

Temple said she was excited when she found out about her promotion and believes she is a good fit for the position.

"My favorite is working with clients and their families," she said. "Probation just really appreciates all of the community resources and the team work we have. Working with the other departments and police departments, we are all on the same team and work together very nicely, and that's very important."

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