WHY CHANGE a good thing?
Belmont County Judge Frank Fregiato may have changed bench seats, but he is still championing and continuing worthwhile programs.
Fregiato is now serving as Belmont County Common Pleas judge. While serving as Northern Division Court judge, Fregiato implemented a program where he took his court proceedings to every high school in Belmont County.
The innovative plan was launched in 1997 and met with glowing reviews.
The purpose was to make students aware that there are consequences for their actions. The students witnessed with their own eyes the consequences.
Fregiato noted that at the common pleas level it is virtually impossible to continue the program, but students and classes have been invited to view courtroom action. While high school programs have been suspended, college classes may be invited to view court proceedings and see the consequences of criminal activity.
We commend Judge Fregiato for keeping our youth exposed to the consequences of committing crimes.
In addition, he is a passionate proponent of community service. Fregiato notes that community service options have the advantage of sanctioning offenders, saving money that would otherwise go to incarceration and accomplishing good public works.
Such sentencing is a win-win scenario.
Judge Fregiato and fellow Common Please Judge John M. Solovan II teamed with the county's probation department in organizing community service programs to sanction drug court violators and others in a safe manner.
The violators will provide a useful community service, cleaning community ball fields across the county. The crews will begin their chores in June at the St. Clairsville and Shadyside ball parks, enabling workers in those communities to tackle other needed projects.
The two programs are useful and productive, and fortunately they will live on.