(BROWNSTOWN) - Jackson County Board of Commissioners gave tentative approval to a plan to establish a regional home detention program.
"The Indiana Department of Correction has offered us an opportunity for more grant money," said J.L. Brewer, director of the county's Community Corrections Program.
Aubrey Woods, of the Tribune reports, Brewer said the Community Corrections' advisory board has approved a plan to expand
Jackson County's home detention program to include Jennings County.
He said there are five other regional community corrections programs around the state.
"We would like to become the sixth," Brewer said.
Brewer said Jackson County's program receives $ 159,893 each year in grants to run the program here. That grant money along with user fees paid by offenders sentenced to home detention pay for the program with the exception of vehicle purchases and office space.
The county pays those expenses.
Jennings County, however, does not have a home detention program and therefore receives no state funding.
If Jackson County began a program for Jennings County, there would be an additional grant of $153,784 for the two- county program, Brewer said.
Brewer said Jackson County recently began providing home detention services for Jennings County, receiving user fees from participants.
But no one is receiving the state grant money for Jennings County, he said.
Commissioner John Schafstall asked Brewer if adding Jennings County to the program would mean there would be a need for additional employees.
"We won't need any additional staff right now," Brewer said.
He said since January the community corrections program moni¬tored 19 people sen¬tenced in Jennings County courts.
"There are two right now," Brewer said.
He said Jackson County already has offenders sentenced
here who live in Jennings County. "We already have to go over there anyway," Brewer said.
There are presently 62 people sentenced to home detention in Jackson County, and there are four people, including Brewer, who can do home detention monitoring.
He said if there would be a need for additional staff in the future, they could be paid for through the additional grant money.
Commissioners eventually gave their initial intent to approve the partnership if there are no additional costs for vehicles and office space.
Brewer said he recently gave a similar presentation to Jennings County commissioners, who have agreed to consider the idea.
He said the makeup of the 19-member advisory board would have to change to include some Jennings County members if the partnership is approved.
Brewer said on Wednesday morning his ultimate goal is to make the Community Corrections Program self-funding.
In addition to serving as director of the local corrections program, Brewer is an elected at-large member of Jackson County Council.
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