Community Corrections seeks record state funding

Bartholomew County Community Corrections is sending its largest grant funding request ever to the Indiana Department of Correction as officials prepare to expand programming for offenders, including a specialized drug abuse recovery offering for men.

When all the individual grant requests are added up, Bartholomew County is seeking $1,722,069 for calendar year 2020, county commissioners Chairman Rick Flohr said.    

The commissioners unanimously agreed Monday to endorse the full request. But after the weekly meeting, Rob Gaskill, Bartholomew County Community Corrections Center director of residential services, said he’s only confident the state will provide money for what it has funded in the past.

Most of the new money is being requested to help those with drug addictions who are in trouble with the law, Gaskill said.

The county is seeking $61,500 on an ongoing annual basis to fund a recovery support residential officer. The officer would work with addicted offenders enrolled in the "Women Recovering with a Purpose (WRAP) and the new Recovery Enables a Life for Men (REALM) programs, Gaskill said.

But another of the officer’s duties would being working to enroll these inmates in Indiana’ health insurance program known as HIP 2.0, Gaskill told the commissioners.

Community Corrections is also seeking $35,000 that, if granted, will be used for a new 15-passenger transport van for the WRAP and REALM programs. Currently, the department relies on a minivan with less than half that passenger capacity.

A $30,000 request is included in one-time funds to buy 12 laptop computers, Gaskill said. He told the commissioners he intends to work with Bartholomew County Information Technology Manager Scott Mayes to ensure taxpayers get the best value. 

The new requests to the Indiana Department of Corrections total $125,500, Gaskill said.

In recent years, Community Corrections has received nearly $1.46 million annually from the state for a variety of undertakings that include residential, victim-offender reconciliation, home detention, electronic monitoring, work release and community transitional programs, Gaskill said.  

The county is also seeking the renewal of a separate probation grant of $133,000 for next year, Gaskill told the commissioners.     

As for the new requests, Gaskill said Community Corrections can function next year without a new van or new laptop computers, but the hiring of a recovery support residential officer is important for the long-term operation of both the WRAP and REALM programs.

County officials may receive a pre-notification recommendation from the Indiana Department of Corrections about the funding request late this spring.

A final decision by Indiana Department of Corrections Commissioner Robert E. Carter, Jr. and the Justice Investment Advisory Council, a nine-member council that conducts state level reviews of local corrections programs, isn’t expected until August, Gaskill said.   

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”About Community Corrections ” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

The Bartholomew County Community Corrections Department was organized after receiving state funds from the Indiana Department of Correction in August 1986.

The services of programs operated under Community Corrections include: 

  • Community Service (started 1986)
  • Home Detention (started 1989)
  • Jail Work Crew (started 1996)
  • Day Reporting (started 1999)
  • Community Transition Program (started 2000)
  • Forensic Diversion (started 2004)
  • Electronic Monitoring (no start date listed) 

Currently operating several components under grant funds and participant user fees, judges and others who work in the courts have frequently described community-based corrections as a very integral part of the local judicial system.

Source: Bartholomew County website