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Archive for Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Probationers fall short of job goals

Officer: Cuts to offender job-training program at fault

April 23, 2003

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People on criminal probation in Douglas County seem to have trouble getting and keeping jobs.

The county's Community Corrections Department is falling short of its employment goals for clients, according to a report released Tuesday.

One of the department's written goals is for 90 percent of its employable offenders to maintain a job for 90 days before they're successfully discharged from probation. So far this budget year, which began in July, only 75 percent of probationers met that requirement.

Also, the department strives for 80 percent of its unemployed offenders to get a job within 30 days of being referred to the department's job-training specialist.

At last count in November, that number was 66 percent.

But then again, the county's chief executive probation officer, Ron Stegall, has said that budget constraints are forcing the department to focus less on job training and more on supervision.

In November, the department had to reassign its only job-training specialist as a supervisory probation officer, and the department now has no employees who focus solely on job training.

The job-training figures were included in the department's comprehensive plan for the upcoming fiscal year. Stegall presented the report Tuesday night at a meeting of the group's community advisory board.

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