Last night, the Dubois County Council made a verbal commitment to give $33,500 to help pay costs for a current part-time maintenence employee for the county corrections center as well as for needed repairs and maintenence.
During the meeting, Dubois County Director of Community Corrections J.P. Weisheit told the council that for most of the ten years that the corrections center’s current location has been open, funding has not been a problem. However, that has changed within the last year or so as collections revenue has been on a sharp decline.
According to numbers presented to the council by Weisheit, the corrections center is currently seeing 7 to 9 thousand dollars in revenue lost every month due to the lack of collections.
Weisheit says the collection rates were high enough for several years, but due to lack of payment of those collections in the last year or two, that has changed:
Weisheit says the county corrections center has garnished the wages of those in the program that aren’t paying to try to collect, but the corrections center has increasingly wound up second or third in line behind child support or other garnishments that a person on work release has had against their wages.
He says the corrections center has applied for an additional 150 thousand dollar grant from the Indiana Department of Corrections to help the center. The center currently gets $400,000 per year from the Indiana Department of Corrections, but Weisheit says more money is becoming available due to a new rule requiring counties to keep certain level felons at home.
He says the additional money, if the Department of Corrections gives that money, would help offset a lot of costs mainly related to health insurance for those in the corrections facility:
Weisheit told the council that the county corrections center hopes to hear an answer on the additional funding in a week or two. The center, with 102 beds, is the sixth largest corrections center in the state of Indiana.
Also, the council held a discussion amongst members about the recent decision by the county commissioners to delay any work towards building a second access road to Dubois County Park for emergency purposes.
County Council president Greg Kendall says the delay came about due to multiple issues surrounding the road and its construction needing to be resolved before any decision can be made on moving forward with the project.