by Sheila Gardner

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March 24, 2014
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Team work fuels alternative sentencing department

Doug Albertson, newly appointed chief of the Department of Alternative Sentencing, has a philosophy about work that has served him well for decades.

“I tell people often that I have never had to work a day in my life. My job is a hobby that I get paid for,” he said.

Albertson, 51, recently took over the department from Michael Beam who retired earlier this month.

Albertson has spent the last 17 years as a senior Douglas County juvenile probation officer, serving the last seven as the supervisor of the county juvenile detention facility at Stateline.

“I am excited about this new opportunity, and the chance to work with the other departments. Everyone has been so supportive. You don’t aspire to a level like this without everybody’s support,” Albertson said.

The Douglas County Department of Alternative Sentencing supervises pre-trial and/or pre-sentence defendants who are out of custody, and people convicted of misdemeanor offenses.

Albertson works with Yvette Altringer, Diana Lash, Joe Elefante and Teri Clark, monitoring a caseload of 250 clients.

They supervise referrals from East Fork and Tahoe Township justice courts and District Court.

“I feel like the learning curve is going to be pretty steep, but I’ve got tremendous help from the staff and all the judges,” Albertson said.

“What I like about our staff is their hard work ethic, dedication, compassion and experience. Through it all, they have never lost their sense of humor which is pretty awesome because you can become jaded and cynical.”

Previously, Albertson worked in juvenile detention in Carson City and for 10 years at residential treatment facilities in California.

“It really appeals to me to be working from the Carson Valley,” he said. “I saw this job as an opportunity for my training and experience to continue this department in the direction that (former) Chief Mike Beam took it. I want to continue with what he built.”

Albertson said he continues to enjoy the challenges.

“I like the ability to serve. Helping people has always appealed to me. The job is so rewarding,” he said.

Albertson said he’s looking forward to working with older offenders, but has already seen some clients he knew as juveniles.

“People I worked with as kids are now 35,” he said, “and I remind them that they should have listened to me when they were juveniles.”

But, Albertson said, the successes far outweigh the setbacks.

“The majority go on to live fruitful and successful lives,” he said. “A minority needs a little more structure. We’re here to help those who seek help.”

Albertson and his wife, Janice, are the parents of four grown children. Janice Albertson is the director of student support services for the Carson City School District.

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The Record Courier Updated Mar 27, 2014 04:12PM Published Mar 25, 2014 12:59PM Copyright 2014 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.