David Roach considers himself a success story for Central Kansas Community Corrections.
The 55-year-old Great Bend man has battled alcohol and drug demons since his teens. This culminated in his fourth drunk driving arrest, and charges of methamphetamine and marijuana possession.
But, he told the Barton County Commission Monday morning, he is clean. He thanks his experience with the parole system for giving him the chance to rebuild his life.
“Before, I just didn’t have anybody to push me in the right direction,” he said. “Corrections turned my life around.”
He spoke as part of CKCC Director Amy Boxberger’s presentation on her agency’s annual year-end outcome report.
The Kansas Community Corrections Act provides grants to Kansas counties to develop and maintain programs for adult offenders assigned to community corrections agencies. A Comprehensive Plan (grant application) was submitted that set the goals for FY2013.
The outcomes require the review and approval of the Barton County Commission, as the administrative county for the 20th Judicial District, which is based in Great Bend.
“If I’d gone back to prison, I would have just come out bad,” Roach said. Even though he fought it at first, “they showed me the way to live right” through supervision and counseling.
Roach is not alone, Boxberger said. Her office handled 105 parole discharges in the past fiscal year and of those, only 77 percent of the individuals successfully completed their paroles.
CKCC provides intensive supervision for felonies in lieu of jail time as ordered by the court. “Our ultimate goal is offender success,” Boxbeger said.
“When you read a name in the paper (in the On the Record), there is a story behind it,” Boxberger said.
Commissioner Jennifer Schartz said the program should be lauded. But, she added, she is disappointed in the State of Kansas which she believes should fund corrections efforts at a higher level.
It is more cost effective in the long run, she said, to keep offenders out of prison.