The goal of Central Kansas Community Corrections is to keep people out of jail. By working with and supervising criminal offenders in the 20th Judicial District, the agency manages a 77 percent success rate, meaning only 23 percent of their clients return to prison.
The 20th Judicial District covers Barton, Stafford, Rice, Ellsworth and Russell counties. That’s a lot of territory and it stretches CKCC’s resources pretty thin.
Because of this, CKCC requested and the Barton County Commission approved the hiring of an additional intensive supervision officer. The approval came Monday morning when the commission met.
It is far cheaper to supervise an offender than it is to jail them, CKCC Director Amy Boxberger said during the meeting.
It was noted during the meeting Monday that it costs about $25,000 per year to keep an inmate in custody. The new CKCC officer will be paid $17.86 per hour.
Do the math. If the officer keeps two of his parolees out of the pokey, then they have made up for their salary.
CKCC had been working with about 200 parolees per month, but the need for its services is growing. Last month, they managed 230 offenders.
““We are making a positive change. We are trying to keep people out of prison,” Boxberger said. “We are trying to keep our community safe.”
This is a noble mission and one that deserves the funding it needs.
Commissioner Ken Lebbin summed it up this way: “It is much less expensive and much more productive to keep an individual as a functional member of society.”
This is money well spent.