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Archive for Thursday, January 7, 1999

MONITORING PROGRAM GETS MONEY INFUSION

January 7, 1999

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Faced with a shortfall in funds for electronic monitoring, Douglas County Community Corrections cut loose some offenders using the probation device.

Director Patricia Berry told county commissioners Wednesday night that she didn't receive enough money from a Kansas Department of Corrections grant to fund electronic monitoring through June, the end of the state's fiscal year. But that wasn't Berry's only problem.

The corrections department also told her that her department no longer could accept reimbursement payments from offenders. Although only about a third of offenders actually reimbursed the county for electronic monitoring, the payments did help, Berry said.

Agreeing that community corrections is a good program and is more cost-efficient than sending offenders to jail, commissioners agreed to ante up $3,900 to get Berry through the end of June.

Only one person is on electronic monitoring at the moment, Berry said.

"We'll probably put people back on" now that funding will be in place again, Berry said.

Community corrections had taken some offenders off earlier than planned since the department did not have funding to keep them on and couldn't accept payments from users. All of those offenders were doing well with their probation, Berry said.

In a letter to commissioners, 7th Judicial District Administrative Judge Mike Malone supported electronic monitoring and said, "If this resource is not available, it will have an adverse effect on the purpose of community corrections."

-- Deb Gruver's phone message number is 832-7165. Her e-mail address is dgruver@ljworld.com.

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