Thursday, October 27, 2005

Morgan may start corrections program by end of December

Morgan County officials are moving on plans to create a community corrections program to limit the jail population.

If they stay on course, the program could start by the end of the year.

County Commission Chairman John Glasscock said he has identified money needed to start the program.

He said the money will come from the law enforcement fund that the county uses for matching funds for drug task force grants.

A federal court consent decree ordering officials to build a new jail also instructed them to develop an alternative sentencing plan, such as a corrections program. The jail is ready, but the commission has been slow to adopt the corrections program.

Judges could sentence those convicted of non-violent, minor crimes to the community program rather than jail them. This would reduce the inmate population and the cost to taxpayers.

Hats off to Morgan County and their willingness to divert drug task force funds away from the drug task forces, who do nothing but fill prisons with non-violent offenders at great expense to the taxpayer, and redirecting those funds to community corrections and treatment. I hope the rest of Alabama will take a page from this book.

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