Dubois County Council Continues Discussion on Correction Center Issues

Ongoing issues at the county corrections center continue to be a hot topic for the Dubois County Council.

Last night, the council continued its ongoing dialogue surrounding issues with collecting money from those in the work release program that is run through community corrections. County council president Greg Kendall told the rest of the council that he’s talked to several other counties in the area and he says tougher rules was the biggest theme:

Other council members also weighed in at last night’s meeting. Councilman Jerry Hunefeld stated that there is no easy solution to the problem as those in work release have other garnishments (such as child support) that they have to pay. Another point that was discussed was that if someone were to go back to jail for not paying what they owe to corrections, child support payments get cut off, thus creating other issues for the offender. Kendall told the council last night that if measures to put more teeth into the collecting of dues from those in work release is ultimately opposed by the council if it comes to a vote, he would drop the issue. He says he still believes that putting more teeth into the program is only fair to the taxpayers of the county. In spite of last night’s debate, the council did approve a previously advertised appropriation of $44,242 so that corrections can pay their bills through the end of this year.

In other news from last night’s meeting, the council formally approved an additional raise for a part-time sanitation truck driver for the county highway department. The additional raise comes in an attempt to keep the current $2 per hour wage separation between the part-time driver and the full-time drivers for the department intact. That equates to an additional 15 cent raise for the part-time driver. Kendall says the decision was a necessary one upon further review by the council:

The council also approved some moving around of funds in the county court area. Specific moves approved by the council included a $2,500 transfer of funds for law books and a $30,000 appropriation to make it through the rest of 2013 to pay for hourly costs of defense counsel for various defendents. County Superior Court Judge Mark McConnell told the council during last night’s meeting that the biggest issue there has been cases with multiple arrests (such as large drug busts). Judge McConnell also reported that $10,000 of the money is necessary to pay for an expert witness that was hired for a recently held second arson trial.

In final notes, the council gave its consensus to advertise for a 15 thousand dollar appropriation for the coroner’s office to pay for upcoming autopsies and toxicologies. County Coroner Bob Veatch reported to the council that there were 4 or 5 autopsies and 9 toxicologies that need to be done and need to be funded. The council also approved a 5 thousand dollar appropriation from the pre-trial diversion fund for a new drug enforcement strike team fund that was discussed at last month’s meeting.

The Dubois County Council is set to meet again on November 25th.