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."
"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.