Ind. rewards community corrections with $25K performance grant

Indiana Department of Corrections officials are calling Daviess County one of the best community correction programs in the state


By Mike Grant
Washington Times-Herald

WASHINGTON, Ind. — Indiana Department of Corrections officials are calling Daviess County one of the best community correction programs in the state. State officials not only praised the program but also brought along a $25,523.22 check as a performance grant award.

"We use Daviess County as an example," said Indiana Department of Corrections Commissioner Bruce Lemmon. "They do an excellent job. In Indiana, 88 of the 92 counties have community corrections programs and only 20 received performance bonuses. This is the second year for Daviess County."

"We're very proud of the work we do here and so is our community corrections advisory board," said Diana Snyder with Daviess County Community Corrections. "We look forward to continuing to provide services to our clients."

The performance grants were based on several criteria. Those include the county's annual grant application (Daviess County receives $200,000 from DOC to operate the program), a site assessment of the operations, the county's compliance in reporting and the number of D-level felons the community corrections program takes on compared to the number it sends on to prison.

"We kept most of the low level offenders here," said Snyder. "Only two went on to state facilities last year.""They are handling them within the community," said Lemmon. "They are keeping them in their home county, treating them here rather than sending them to the state for incarceration. They do a very good job of that."

Keeping low level felons in the community corrections program is good for both the clients and the state's wallet. State officials estimate it costs $52 per day to house a state prisoner.

"If you send them to the state, they are not going to spend enough time for us to do anything with them as far as treatment and education, " said Lemmon. "If you keep them in the local community corrections you can get them involved in substance abuse programs, help them get their GED, keep them on the right path. Community corrections can do it cheaper and it enhances the chances of the person being successful."

The state places no restrictions on the grant except that it be used for something for Daviess County Community Corrections. Local officials say they have not yet decided where to spend the $25,000. "We are looking at new programs and services that we can provide to our clients," said Snyder. "It's kind of open now, but most of it will probably target substance abuse and mental health programs."

Those two areas are ones that local officials believe they need to better serve the clients. "There is a real need," said Snyder. "Some of our clients need additional help in dealing with substance abuse that cannot always be provided locally. We're looking at doing more work in that area, possibly providing support groups and things like that."

The presentation was a treat for state corrections officials. "It's always a good day when you get the visit a county and bring them money," said Lemmon.

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