STERLING — Those convicted of crimes in the 13th Judicial District no longer have the sentencing option of Community Corrections. The program ran out of funds barely halfway through its fiscal year in late November.
Community Corrections — an alternative treatment program for prison inmates transitioning back into the community or non-violent offenders not eligible for probation — houses about 40 men at the Advantage Treatment Center in Sterling. Offenders are monitored through phone calls and check-in’s and are required to work and pay for room and board. Counseling and additional treatment for issues such as drug addiction and anger management are among the services provided.
“It’s a very powerful tool we have for cases where probation’s not going to wor,k but the (Department of Corrections) is too harsh for the crime,” District Attorney Bob Watson said.
Housing offenders at Community Corrections costs tax payers about $37.18 a day compared to $75.58 for prison. Non-residential clients costs $5.04 a day.
Public Defender Mike Boyce, who joined the Logan County Community Corrections Board last May, said not having the Community Corrections sentencing option is unfair to his clients.
“It’s an equality issue. People are being sent to prison here, while if they had committed the crime in another district or before we ran out of funds in November, they would be receiving specialized treatment,” Boyce said.