Central Kansas Community Corrections Director Amy Boxberger summed up what her agency does in one sentence Monday morning. “Our program is to keep people out of prison.”
Indeed, that is the mission of CKCC, a part of the 20th Judicial District that covers Barton, Ellsworth, Rice, Russell and Stafford counties. CKCC staff serves the five county district by seeking interventions that meet the vision of the agency: Public Safety Through Offender Success.
And it has worked.
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.
And, its cost effective. According to the KDOC annual report, it costs $6.61 per day per individual in the CKCC program, but it costs $69.85 daily to house them in jail or prison.
We all want to live in a safer Kansas with offenders who are held accountable for their actions. However, throwing them in jail is not always the best option.
They must be given the chance to learn from their mistakes and establishing a pattern of pro-social decisions. This might not always work, but it is worth a shot.
According to the American Legislative Exchange Council, the United States currently incarcerates one in nearly 100 American adults in an age when incarceration and prison overcrowding rates are on the rise. The Kansas prison population is projected to increase by 22.6 percent in the next 10 years.
What Boxberger and her staff do is helping to reverse this trend.