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Commission approves CKCC budget
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 In what amounts to an approval of the Central Kansas Community Correction’s 2016 budget, the Barton County Commission Monday morning OKed the agency’s fiscal year 2016 Comprehensive Plan.

The Kansas Department of Corrections, which funds CKCC, requires the annual submission of a plan, which is essentially the agency’s grant application for state money. The plan requires approval from the Barton County Commission since Barton County is the administrative county for the 20th Judicial District, CKCC Director Amy Boxberger said.

The district encompasses Barton, Ellsworth, Rice, Russell and Stafford counties. 

“This is a state and local partnership,” Boxberger said. Although ultimately funded by tax dollars, the funding for CKCC comes from the state level, not merely locally generated support.

The 2016 budget totals $468,482. This pays for CKCC’s efforts to supervise offenders sentenced to community corrections who otherwise would be sentenced to incarceration.

Boxberger said it is money well spent. According to the KDOC annual report, it costs $6.61 per day per individual in the CCKC program, but it costs $69.85 daily to house them in jail or prison.

And, the concept does what it is supposed to do, she said. Of the 110 offenders in community corrections in 2014, 78 percent stayed out of jail, while 22 percent were eventually taken into custody, which is on target with state expectations.

Of course, factors such as education, employment, having a stable residence, success in tackling addictions and mental issues, and lifestyles influence success, she said. But, “most of the time it works. We are affecting positive change.”

But, the request met with resistance from Commission Homer Kruckenberg. He referenced comments made by billionaire and Koch Industries leader Charles Koch who wants reforms to the criminal justice system. 

“There are too many laws,” Kruckenberg said, referring Koch’s proposals.

County officials, however, said it is the Legislature and local governments that set the laws, not CKCC. The local agency is merely on the receiving end after a judge makes a ruling.

The plan passed 4-1 with Kruckenberg voting against it.