Welcome to the Prison Talk Online Community! Take a Minute and Sign Up Today!

Go Back   Prison Talk > U.S. REGIONAL FORUMS > MICHIGAN > Michigan Prison and Legal News & Events
Register Entertainment FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Michigan Prison and Legal News & Events What is making news in Michigan relating to the prison system, the criminal justice system, etc? Find it here!

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-09-2004, 03:57 PM
mabear's Avatar
mabear mabear is offline
Registered User
Donation Award 

Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: michigan, usa
Posts: 2,600
Thanks: 19
Thanked 544 Times in 282 Posts
Default Many county inmates put to work instead of behind bars

Many county inmates put to work instead of behind bars

By Dennis Pelham
Daily Telegram Staff Writer

ADRIAN -- Some who break the law are toiling away weekends at menial jobs in striped jumpsuits. Others are going through intense weekend education on alcohol and driving.

Those are some of the approaches being taken to keep offenders out of overcrowded jail cells and from repeating mistakes that cost them and taxpayers a lot of money, Lenawee County commissioners were told Thursday.

"We're trying to show what some of the programs we have here in the county do to try to reduce jail crowding," said the commission's criminal justice committee chairman, Richard Bailey, R-Adrian.

The sheriff's department hard labor program and a Drivers Intervention Program offered by McCullough, Vargas and Associates Inc. of Adrian are two efforts to reduce jail sentences.

Overcrowding has been getting worse at the Lenawee County Jail in recent months. In September, the 170-bed jail hit a new single-day record of 249 prisoners and averaged 236 inmates a day, according to sheriff's department reports.

It would be worse without the sheriff's department hard labor program that was launched a year ago as part of a state grant-funded community corrections program for the county.

The first year's results are a savings of 1,837.5 prisoner days in jail, reported community corrections coordinator Jeffrey LaBarr.

A total of 477 offenders have been assigned to the hard labor program during its first year, he said, with 394 completing their sentence assignments so far.

"They've been sent to do some pretty unpleasant stuff, but that's what it's all about," LaBarr said. Work assignments often involve cleaning up trash and brush or pulling plastic bags from decomposing piles of compost at the Adrian Wastewater Treatment Plant.

"This was never meant to be a weekend off," added Lenawee County District Judge James E. Sheridan, chairman of the county's community corrections advisory board.

The year-end report also noted that offenders pay $15 a day to be in the hard labor program rather than jail, and that a total of $11,615 was collected in the past year. Agencies using the labor contributed another $1,945.

The committee approved spending $5,000 on a computer software package required to continue the county's state community corrections grants. A $94,170 grant is to be awarded to Lenawee County this year. The computer program is to maintain data on the county's community corrections projects and participants.

A privately run program without government funding is also having an impact on Lenawee County's law enforcement system.

Many first-offense drunken drivers are referred by judges to a Driver Intervention Program run by the McCullough Vargas counseling firm.

Participants in the three-day weekend program at a facility near Clinton are immersed in information on the effects of alcohol and the results of drinking and driving, said Gary McCullough. Participants also go through a self-evaluation to identify substance abuse problems, and they draw up personal plans on how they will avoid repeating the mistakes that brought them before a judge.

Since the program started in 2000, a total of 1,150 people have gone through the program, paying the $290 cost themselves, said Roy Vargas, and saving taxpayers a total $333,500.

About 29 percent of participants are identified as needing substance abuse treatment, Vargas noted.

"The sooner we can identify these people as having a problem, the sooner we can get them into treatment, the greater the chance of success," he said.

In addition to identifying those needing treatment, the program is intended to change attitudes and behavior of those caught drinking and driving, Vargas said.

"We believe that if we can change these attitudes and beliefs that we can affect recidivism," Vargas said.

Research has backed up that theory, he reported.

Two groups of 100 people convicted in 2001 of drinking and driving were selected for a comparison, he said. One group attended the Drivers Intervention Program and a second group of 100 people did not.

After two years, 26 percent of those who did not attend the program had been arrested again for drinking and driving while 11.5 percent of the participants became repeat offenders.

McCullough presented statistics showing how costly drinking and driving is economic and human terms.

Alcohol-related crashes in the United States cost the public an estimated $114.3 billion a year, he said, and people other than the drunken driver pay an estimated $71.6 billion of that total.

In 2003, he added, 463 people in Michigan were reported killed in drug- and alcohol-related crashes. In Lenawee County, alcohol-related crashes took the lives of one person in 2001, five in 2002 and eight people last year.

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising everytime we fall.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Summary of Florida State Correctional Facilities Phil in Paris FLDOC - What You Need to Know 9 08-26-2010 09:12 PM
Thanks for Prison Info, These Facilities Need Information!! Manzanita New York General Prison Talk, Introductions & Chit Chat 48 04-15-2006 08:09 PM
~*New York Facility Listings, Superintendents*~Maps, Directions*~Types of Prisons Manzanita New York Prison & Jail Visitation, Phones, Packages & Mail 4 03-20-2005 12:36 PM
A Reorganization Plan for Corrections Kathy California Prison & Criminal Justice News & Events + 3 Strikes 9 08-17-2004 02:12 PM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:39 AM.
Copyright © 2001- 2017 Prison Talk Online
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Website Design & Custom vBulletin Skins by: Relivo Media
Message Board Statistics