County News_logoMonday morning the Marshall County Council approved the request of Ward Byers, director of the Community Corrections Program amend the salary ordinance for the third case manager.  The increase for the third case manager to bring pay equality into the office so all case managers will make the same hourly pay.

Byers told the council their decision last month to range the pay for the third case manager from $17.46 to $18.48 instead of the requested $23.07 means one case manager is being paid less to do the same duties as the others.  He went on to say, “The Community Corrections Advisory Board did approve this hourly rate of pay.  As you all know, the Advisory Board, by statute does govern our operations to include our budgets, our expenditures and policies and procedures.”

This third case manager position in Community Corrections is paid for through the Project Income Fund which is user fees and not tax dollars.

Before making the change councilwoman Penny Lukenbill asked how the work load has increased since the change in legislation that keeps level 6 felons in the county jail.    Byers said, “It’s well over doubled. Last year at this time we averaged around 30 individuals on Community Corrections.  As of today we have 63 and that doesn’t include what’s going on with the drug and alcohol portion of our office.  Their numbers have increased to over 75 in the last year.”

Ward Byers 3-13-17Byers reminded the County Council of the savings his department is providing to the county by way of keeping people out of the jail saying, “With that number of 63 we are saving the county in incarceration costs right around $1.4 million a year.”

Councilman Bill Githens asked about the jail population and Byers told him, “The jail population did spike a bit recently but it has maintained like around 125 to 130.”

Lukenbill also noted the job requirements for the case manager position is a BA and certification from the state within two years of employment to be a Substance Abuse Interventionists.

Council president Judy Stone asked Byers what his recommendation was on the salary when he went to the personnel committee and he indicated the $23.07.

The County Council unanimously approved an amendment to the salary ordinance setting the wage at $23.07 an hour.

On a side note Mr. Byers told council members his department went through its very first fiscal audit from the Indiana Department of Corrections last week.   After reviewing all the claims, expenditures and mileage logs and fiscal portion of the office they had a “clean audit with zero deficiencies.” He went on to say, “The found us to be in compliance with all spending requirements in regards to the grants and in full compliance with all the financial reporting.”