IBJNews

Space issues grow at Johnson County work-release site

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A program that allows dozens of convicted offenders to work while completing their prison sentences needs a new building.

Some of the walls in the Johnson County Community Corrections facility need to be replaced because they are damaged, according to the Daily Journal of Franklin.

The building doesn't have enough room to separate offenders whom officials don't want together. And the 10 spaces available for female offenders are constantly filled.

County officials have talked about expanding the work-release facility for years, either by moving the program to a new building or renovating the building it's in now. But with the Johnson County jail routinely facing issues of overcrowding, the expansion may have to happen sooner than officials expected, the director of the program said.

Now, a committee has been formed to decide what kind of expansion the work-release program needs.

Community corrections director Albert Hessman said the expansion will not happen for at least a few years, but he thinks the committee is a first step in starting the project.

"It's something that's not going to happen real quick, but it needs to be discussed," he said.

Both the jail and work-release program are housing more people. Expanding the work-release facility would allow local judges to sentence offenders to that program instead of sending them to jail, Hessman said.

Committee members previously talked about expanding the program by building a new facility, renovating a building for the program or adding to the current building, located near the county jail on Hospital Road, Hessman said.

To help pay for the expansion, community corrections has saved $1 million over the past few years from fees offenders pay to be in the program, he said.

The work-release program is funded with fees paid each day by the people in the program who stay at the facility. The program also receives funding from a state grant but does not receive any funding from the county's general fund budget.

But he said $1 million is not enough to pay for a full expansion, so the committee will have to decide where the rest of the money will come from.

Hessman said he is unsure how much the expansion will cost because the committee has not decided what work will be done.

"It just depends on what we do," Hessman said. "One million dollars isn't a lot of money."

Expanding the work-release program would help prevent overcrowding in the jail, but committee members say the expansion also is needed to improve the program.

Currently, the facility can house 90 men and 10 women. Hessman said the female spaces are filled continually, while the number of men participating usually is 50 to 60, although the program occasionally reaches its capacity for male offenders, too.

The male offenders are classified into groups of how likely they are to commit another crime, Hessman said. The program would like to separate the offenders who have a high risk of committing another crime, but he said there isn't enough space to do that.

The program also does not have space to provide services, such as job or educational training, Franklin defense attorney Carrie Miles said. Those services could help stop the offenders from committing crimes again after they are released from the program, she said.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Until we have an honest description of the population...we can't make good judegments
    We really can't tell if the center and jail are "over populated" or if our judges are "over jailing" the population. We need an honest breakdown of the persons in the program and list of crimes and time served. Seems like our justice system wants to make money from those in work-release...rather than freeing those who have paid for the "crime" free. We need more information. Seeing as that information is not offered, I tend to believe we don't need to expand the program. We need to look at the jail population and perhaps better understand why white collar crime is not represented. Should the county act as debt collectors by jailing bad check writers for the cash advance companies.....at tax payers expense?

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. From the story: "The city of Indianapolis also will consider tax incentives and funding for infrastructure required for the project, according to IEDC." Why would the City need to consider additional tax incentives when Lowe's has already bought the land and reached an agreement with IEDC to bring the jobs? What that tells me is that the City has already pledged the incentives, unofficially, and they just haven't had time to push it through the MDC yet. Either way, subsidizing $10/hour jobs is going to do nothing toward furthering the Mayor's stated goal of attracting middle and upper-middle class residents to Marion County.

  2. Ron Spencer and the entire staff of Theater on the Square embraced IndyFringe when it came to Mass Ave in 2005. TOTS was not only a venue but Ron and his friends created, presented and appeared in shows which embraced the 'spirit of the fringe'. He's weathered all the storms and kept smiling ... bon voyage and thank you.

  3. Not sure how many sushi restaurants are enough, but there are three that I know of in various parts of downtown proper and all are pretty good.

  4. First off, it's "moron," not "moran." 2nd, YOU don't get to vote on someone else's rights and freedoms that are guaranteed by the US Constitution. That's why this is not a state's rights issue...putting something like this to vote by, well, people like you who are quite clearly intellectually challenged isn't necessary since the 14th amendment has already decided the issue. Which is why Indiana's effort is a wasted one and a waste of money...and will be overturned just like this has in every other state.

  5. Rick, how does granting theright to marry to people choosing to marry same-sex partners harm the lives of those who choose not to? I cannot for the life of me see any harm to people who choose not to marry someone of the same sex. We understand your choice to take the parts of the bible literally in your life. That is fine but why force your religious beliefs on others? I'm hoping the judges do the right thing and declare the ban unconstitutional so all citizens of Wisconsin and Indiana have the same marriage rights and that those who chose someone of the same sex do not have less rights than others.

ADVERTISEMENT