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Program turns tax-spenders into taxpayers
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There’s no doubt about it. Crime is a going concern in Kansas, which is why it’s so important that programs like Central Kansas Community Corrections do their job to keep convicts out of prison and in programs that point them out of the criminal career.
According to information from the National Institute of Corrections, Kansas has more than 9,000 inmates in prisons.
As of 2008, according to the NIC, the total crime rate in Kansas was about 3 percent higher than the national average and the property crime rate was 5 percent higher than the national rate.
On the positive side, the violent crime rate is lower than national average in Kansas, by about 10 percent.
CKCC works to supervise adult offenders and to work with them in a variety of programs, as Director Amy Boxberger told the Barton County Commission this week.
In Fiscal Year 2010, CKCC had a revocation rate of 24 percent of its clients, which was higher than its annual goal. However, the local department is continuing to work with a reduced staff, due to state funding cuts.
One of the programs that CKCC works with the Barton County Community College Reach Out, Retrain and Re-entry Program, which is funded through the Department of Labor Community Based Job Training Grant.
Director of that program, David Miller, also spoke to the commission this week on the importance of continuing its impact on getting offenders into the work force.
BCCC has been working with a three-year grant for $2 million to fund the program.
That seems like a significant amount of money, until the math is done, Miller commented.
Referring to those 9,000-plus inmates in Kansas prisons, Miller noted the state spends about $140 per day, per inmate, to incarcerate them. “$2 million isn’t a lot,” he commented, adding that when they exit the jobs program they are adding to the state tax income and are paying into the system, rather than taking out of it. They are taxpayers, instead of tax-spenders.
Eventually, Miller noted, it’s hoped that the program through BCCC will support itself and that it will continue to help get offenders out of the penal system and into the workforce.