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FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 2007
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Morgan community corrections under way

By Sheryl Marsh
smarsh@decaturdaily.com · 340-2437

The Morgan County Jail population decreased by six in the past two weeks when inmates went into a new community corrections program.

Alison Nix, director, said 10 other jail inmates are awaiting circuit judges’ decisions on whether they will get out of jail and participate in the program.

Nix explained that the six inmates are awaiting trial on non-violent charges. She said all have jobs. Some report to community corrections twice a week and others once each month.

They meet with the case manager and undergo drug testing, Nix said.

“It’s working pretty good,” she said.

During a meeting Thursday of the county Community Corrections and Court Services Commission, Circuit Judge Steve Haddock said he is considering getting a person he sent to prison released and placing them in the program.

Haddock, who is vice chairman of the commission, said the state Department of Corrections officials will identify inmates they believe qualify and make recommendations to him and other judges.

The judge said he has concerns about notification of victims in those cases, and asked District Attorney Bob Burrell to explain how it would work.

Burrell, who is a member of the commission, said there is no requirement for notification of victims when inmates transfer from one facility to another. Victims do get notified if an inmate escapes, die or is released from prison. He said it would be good to give notification if inmates are going to be released to community corrections.

Inmates must pay fees for drug testing and supervision to community corrections, and they will be required to provide a receipt of payments they make for fines and restitution to the Circuit Clerk’s office.

Also, during the meeting Nix got approval to hire an administrative assistant. She said pay for the employee would come from $98,000 she got from DOC for the program.

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