Corrections seeks $489,000 in state grant funding

Bartholomew County Community Corrections is seeking more than $489,000 in state funding for its budget and to add another employee.

The county already has received $1.96 million in grant funding for the program, which has been in operation for 31 years, said Brad Barnes, director of court services/chief probation officer. The program encompasses a number of services including electronic monitoring, work release and day reporting, among others.

However, officials have requested $489,100 in state grant funding for fiscal year 2018, which begins July 1. A majority of the funding would be used to continue supporting Community Corrections programs, Barnes said.

The money also would go toward a treatment program for women through the Community Corrections program that has historically been supported through federal dollars, according to Barnes. It also would be used to fund a position dedicated to providing cognitive-based programming to criminal defendants.

Story continues below gallery

Specifically, the person in that role would teach individuals to make better life choices and provide training to other staff members, Barnes said.

The grant would provide continued funding for two employees in the county’s pretrial program for fiscal year 2018. The individuals are responsible for pretrial assessments of criminal defendants.

The county is part of nine jurisdictions across the state involved in a state pilot program. The assessment process allows some criminal defendants to be released from the Bartholomew County Jail without posting bond.

The pretrial process uses risk-assessment results in determining whether an individual may be released without posting bond.

Twenty-five people are currently in the the pretrial program and around 50 individuals have gone through the program since it started last fall, said Kimberly Maus, assistant chief probation officer.

Bartholomew Superior Court 2 Magistrate Joseph Meek said the pretrial program is going well so far and noted that data indicates criminal defendants are coming to court when they are supposed to. Individuals also are not committing other crimes after they have been released under the program, Meek added.

Barnes said part of the goal tied to the pretrial pilot program is to see a reduction in the number of individuals failing to appear in court and to continue identifying specific risk factors leading to their behavior.

Author photo
Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com