Doing more with less only goes so far, and county officials are seeing where that philosophy starts having negative dividends.
This week the Barton County Commission learned about the challenges that continue to face Central Kansas Community Corrections as it reacts to state cuts in funding for programs that are intended to keep non-violent offenders out of the state prison system.
It was observed that the taxpayers of Kansas save money every time an offender can be helped in a program that does not involve prison, because of the high cost of incarceration.
CKCC Director Amy Boxberger reported that in 30 percent of the cases involved in Fiscal Year 2011, which ended in June, clients were unsuccessful and their probation had to be revoked, while in 70 percent, the program was still successful.
That is despite having fewer personnel who have to handle a larger case load.
That ratio of personnel to case load numbers needs to be controlled if the program is to continue to successfully help the clients get back into the local workforce and to pay back the programs, Boxberger stressed.
She said the personnel are stretched thin, but they continue to show progress. “Our case managers are great and we do our best.”
It’s important, however, to understand that few people come into the CKCC program wanting to change. It’s up to the case managers to help them learn how important it is for them to change their lives and become a productive part of the community.
Part of the funding for this program comes from the clients, who pay for services, and the commissioners approved carrying over $66.900 in those funds from the last Fiscal Year, to help fund the continuing program.