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New digs?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Mary Brown, Executive Director of the Clay County Corrections Department, works at her desk inside the Clay County Courthouse. The department hopes to build a new building for their offices and are currently in the planning stage. [Order this photo]
* Department looking for new facility

The Clay County Community Corrections Department is looking into building a new facility.

Presently, the Corrections Department, which helps prevent overcrowding in the jails, is housed on the third floor of the courthouse in a two-room office.

"There's no confidentiality," Executive Director Mary Brown said.

She explained that drug screens are done in public restrooms at this time.

Brown also said the current office is too small for the four full-time staff and four part-time staff who work within the department.

Currently, the Indiana Department of Correction wants to start evidence-based practices, programs they have seen work within prisons and communities. However, the Clay County department believes it cannot begin these practices with the office it is in now.

The Clay County Community Corrections is a division of the Indiana Department of Correction.

"We supply the community with an alternative placement for offenders, and in some instances, it is in addition to their sentence, such as community service," Brown said. "We work with probation in providing services, as well as drug screens and classes."

The department has received a quote for a new building to get a ballpark idea of expenses, but no specs have been written up.

"At this point, we're seriously looking into it," Brown said. "We're still in the planning stage."

She explained the department would have to look into financing and eventually take bids, but the county hasn't moved forward yet.

If the department follows through and builds a new building to conduct their business, no county taxpayer dollars would be used to pay for expenses.

Instead, the corrections department receives money three ways. First, expenses used in the Community Transition Program, which helps prisoners get back on their feet and transition back into the community 60-120 days before they are released, is reimbursed through the state.

Thirty-four percent of the department's funds are paid by a state grant through the Department of Corrections.

The other 66 percent is paid through project income, meaning offenders pay fees for the services they receive. For instance, electronic home detention fees brought in $11,726 in August.

Electronic home detention includes ankle bracelets, GPS units for sex offenders, cellular units for offenders without phone lines and MEMS, a remote alcohol monitoring system.

In the last fiscal year, the Clay County Community Corrections received $170,000 in project income alone. Through the state grant, the department received $102,000 and, the state reimbursed $15,000 for the transition program.

During the last year, 416 adults and 52 juveniles took part in the corrections' programs with a success rate of 89 percent.

The Clay County Community Corrections active advisory board members by virtue of their office or position include Sheriff Mike Heaton, Prosecuting Attorney Lee Reberger, Director Heidi Wheeler, Mayor Ann Bradshaw, Superior Court Judge J. Blaine Akers, Circuit Court Judge Joe Trout and School Administrator Pete Kikta.

The members who were appointed by the Board of Commissioners are Attorney Jason Brown, Probation Officer Cathy Judd, Tracy Hines, Council President Mike McCullough, Probation Officer Kelsey White, Administrator Lynn Romas, Mental Health Administrator Shelia Kirkman, Certified Addictions Counselor Steve Sutherland, County Commissioner Paul Sinders and School Administrator Andrea Herbert.

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and there going too tear down the old jail building . DUH

-- Posted by buddry55 on Thu, Sep 8, 2011, at 9:17 PM

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