Christian County Jailer Brad Boyd recently presented Christian County justice officials with the proposal to create the Christian County Remediation Center out of the former Sheriff's department on West Seventh Street, just yards away from the jail.
What will the center be?
Boyd explained that the Remediation Center would be treated as a "one stop shop" for criminal offenders and would have dual purposes.
The center would be an alternative for judges to require in place of jail or prison time. It could also be used for services for offenders that are on parole or reentering the community.
Boyd meet last week with Christian County judges, Commonwealth's Attorney Rick Bowling, Christian County Attorney John Soyars and others to discuss his idea for the center.
"It's basically going to be under the umbrella of the county, of the jail, but we're looking at having for the most part, anyone who does or can offer services or treatment to offenders," Boyd said.
Boyd explained that the biggest component of the Remediation Center would be a Day Reporting Program. This program would serve as an evaluation of an offender during the early stages of the court process to determine if and what programs would be a fit for them.
"Once an offender (is) at whatever stage or level, a judge would say 'OK go over to the Remediation Center,'" Boyd said. "The first thing we're going to do is get them evaluated to find out where they are in their life or in their addiction or criminal activity and then try to make sure that they get matched up with the appropriate services."
Currently, Boyd plans to include several programs under the Remediation Center such as comprehensive needs assessment, trauma informed care, seeking safety, additional moral reconation therapy programs, reentry services, case management, peer support specialists programs and drug therapy. The center may also include drug testing programs and electronic monitoring.
All of the programs for offenders will be done in several phases. Boyd said that an offender's time at the center will be no less than six months but no more than three years.
Some programs, especially those for convicted offenders that are going to be reentering society, will focus on assisting offenders in securing employment, finding a home and other life skills.
"Basically, I want this facility be anything that has to do with offenders and helping them turn their life around," Boyd said. "So, with this you'll see the different things we're going to offer. It starts with being evaluated and then, based on that, they may be placed in a group, therapy or ankle monitoring. Then, obviously, it would be the same with probation and parole."
Ultimately, the goal of the Remediation Center is to attempt to find alternatives to jail or prison time for offenders and to attempt to curb recidivism rates, Boyd said. He said he wants the center to be avenue to help prevent criminal offenders from reoffending and reentering the court system.
What will it cost taxpayers and offenders?
Boyd explained that his goal will be that the Remediation Center and its program will ultimately cost nothing or very little, not only for taxpayers but also the jail.
The former sheriff's office is already owned by the county. Boyd would only have to ask the county fiscal court to transfer the building rights from the sheriff to the jail.
Boyd did share that there are several small renovations that need to be made to the building because of its age. He explained that there may be some slight funds needed for those repairs that could appear before fiscal court.
Despite that, he said there would be no need to hire labor as the jail can utilize inmates for labor on the needed renovations.
As far as the costs of the programs, the jailer will be looking at grant funding -- Kentucky Medicaid and self-pay -- meaning the jail would cover the costs.
Boyd explained that Medicaid will pay for certain services if an offender is eligible. Grants, such as the Community Corrections Grant, could also cover much of the cost of different programs.
"I've been in conversation with the justice cabinet and the department of corrections, there may be a per diem for individuals who are still on parole, or coming out of the jail or prison on parole," Boyd said.
A per diem means that the jail would recieve a certain amount of money per day, per inmate enrolled in a particular program from Kentucky Department of Corrections or the justice cabinet.
However, Boyd emphasized that at this time, the plan for the remediation center are "fluid," and still in the discussion phase. Things could certainly change, but Boyd is currently looking at having the programs at no cost.
What's the next step?
"The very next step in the process is the funding, because if the county, the jail is going to have to pay for all this -- paying for the social workers and programs -- well then, quite honestly, I don't know that it's going to get off the ground," Boyd said.
However, Boyd is confident and has faith in the justice system to see this through as he and other justice officials know that something like a remediation center is necessary and important to combating recidivism and reentry.
He said that he is continuing to discuss plans for the center with justice officials and may have another meeting with them to further solidify plans.
He added that he may be presenting the idea to the Christian County Fiscal Court as early as the next meeting Tuesday, May 14 or the following meeting, Tuesday, May 28.
Reach Avery Seeger at 270-887-3236 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @AveryNewEra