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Brown speaks at meeting

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Clay County Community Corrections Executive Director Mary Brown was the guest speaker at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday.

Brown explained that the Corrections department was initiated in 1981 and has grown into 78 participating counties.

The Clay County Community Corrections has seven main components including: home detention, community service, community transition, day reporting, the drug screen program, the out-of-school suspension program and ignition interlock.

Brown explained no county tax dollars are used for the departments funding. 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 (DOC). The other 66 percent is paid through project income, meaning offenders pay fees for the services they receive.

In 2010, Clay County committed 58 offenders and three juveniles to the DOC. The cost per day for an adult offender at the DOC is $52.60. For a juvenile, it's $159.98. To house one adult offender at the DOC for one year, it costs $19,199.

"If it was a juvenile, it'd be about three times that cost," Brown said. "It's not cheap to house offenders in the DOC, and obviously that money is coming out of our pockets. Whereas if someone was placed into one of our components, those offenders pay for that program themselves."

During the Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Judge Joesph Trout spoke to the audience after guest speaker Mary Brown, executive director of Clay County Community Corrections, finished speaking. [Order this photo]
Brown also discussed the need for a new building for the Clay County Community Corrections department.

"It would help us tremendously if we would be able to have our own building," Brown said. "It would allow us to offer more and better services."

The corrections department has a building committee that is currently looking at all avenues including writing a lease and funding.

Judge Joseph Trout spoke to the audience.

"First of all you have to enter into an agreement with the county since the land belongs to the county," he said. "We would put up all the money to build the building, and if we ever quit using it then the whole building would go back to the county. It's going to be a good thing because it's not going to cost the tax payers anything but will provide a service to them."

The Chamber of Commerce will not have a luncheon in December.

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2 bad old jail is gone what a waste of money 2 tear down when could been used by this bunch elected officials at there finest in clay county

-- Posted by buddry55 on Tue, Nov 22, 2011, at 8:42 PM

buddry55..... I'm not sure what your comment ment, ..."at there finest in clay county". Wasn't the old jail building in a state of disrepair and sometimes isn't fixing structural problems more expensive than raising the building?

CONCERN: For arguments sake lets say Clay County builds a new building (and pays for maintenance for the entire life of the building) and leases it to Clay County Community Corrections (CCCC), which, as Director Brown explained, ..."no county tax dollars are used for the departments funding."

Presently CCCC is not receiving funds from Clay County. Would the expense of leasing a new building still allow CCCC to operate without receiving funds from the county?

Has CCCC considered the option of leasing space from a private company/individual, thereby not "strapping" the county with the added expense of maintaining an additional building? Just a thought!

Director Brown (or staff) please respond.

Clay County contracting staff: Would 100% of the amortized building cost/maintenance be passed on to CCCC? Please respond.

Thank you and keep up the good work.

-- Posted by CAB (Concerns About Brazil) on Wed, Nov 23, 2011, at 7:41 AM

As Judge Trout said, the entire cost of the building (improvements to the land) including maintenance would be paid for by Community Corrections with offender fees. It is contemplated that only the land would be leased from Clay County and except for perhaps insurance, no county tax dollars would be needed.

-- Posted by alias on Wed, Nov 23, 2011, at 10:23 AM

I have two concerns:

First, with cuts in the state's budget, will the 34% IN DOC grant continue?

Second, will the state's contribution, along with the 66% paid by offenders, cover the new, more-than-likely higher, monthly lease or will additional monies be needed?

-- Posted by CAB (Concerns About Brazil) on Wed, Nov 23, 2011, at 11:05 AM

Very insightful CAB. In regard to your first concern, the DOC has made it clear that because of the cost of housing an inmate, they want to utilize Comm. Corrections more not less. Accordingly, the grant is expected to continue. In regard to your second concern, CCCC has already saved approximately 200K to use on a project such as this, and future income is expected to be sufficient.

-- Posted by alias on Wed, Nov 23, 2011, at 12:10 PM

CCCC IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL DUE TO THE FACT YOU charge the inmate fees and you get paid to do something the county sheriff is charged to do.

-- Posted by Combat VET on Wed, Nov 23, 2011, at 4:43 PM

Great response Alias, thanks.

Hummm, Mr. LaPlante, in which constitution is Community Corrections addressed and where is the Sheriff charged with these responsibilities?

Please respond.

-- Posted by CAB (Concerns About Brazil) on Wed, Nov 23, 2011, at 6:56 PM

The only one we have. The US CONSTITUTION.Oh my bad we only like it when we can walk all over it. What a shame we sent so many to die for a worthless piece of paper that no one here seems to understand!!!

-- Posted by Combat VET on Thu, Nov 24, 2011, at 9:01 AM

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