During the July meeting of the Marshall County Community Corrections Advisory Board, Ward Byers, Director reported to members that the numbers are staying pretty level with around 114 clients on Community Corrections. That is a combination of pre-trial release and direct commitments from the courts.
Byers said he is seeing an increasing number of clients who are being placed in either the temporary in-patient detox program in Pierceton or a sober living environment due to their excessive drug use and addiction. These are clients who are coming out of the jail either after being sentenced or coming straight out of court. They suffer from years of addiction or are currently an active addict. He continued saying they are using MCDAP for assessments and screenings to assist with proper placements. Byers said with their addictions and their current living conditions are no conducive to their recovery.
Byers told the Advisory Board they recently lost their MRT (Moral Reconation Therapy) facilitator. He said she was working part-time but is moving back home to Ohio. While Community Corrections is in the process of filling that gap, they are going to transition over to the Bowen Center for the short term until they can train a staff member of determine the long-term goal. Byers said, “We don’t just want to suspend our programs and leave our clients hanging that have been going through them. The stop gap is to utilize the Bowen Center like we have done in the past.”
Board Chairman Judge Colvin asked Byers to detail the staff. There are 2 case managers and they each have a case load of 51 people. There are 4 part-time field officers and a full-time quality assurance position who also does all the payroll and claims and 2 full-time employees in the drug and alcohol program.
Colvin asked how many clients are in the MRT program and Byers said they keep it at 10 to 15 clients, but the optimum number is more like 8.
Byers told the Advisory Board he has asked the state for an additional case manager in the grant next year. He did say he doesn’t expect them to fund it looking at the history of them not funding new staff although they do cover additional cost for salaries and benefits. In October the state will release its decisions to the counties and then contracts will be sent out in November for 2022.
Byers said, “I will be asking if in October we don’t see that new employee, I would come back to the Advisory Board and ask for serious consideration to hire a case manager our of Project Income.” That fund has a balance of over $846,000 and can sustain a new full-time employee. He noted that monthly income to that fund is approximately $45,000 and the position he would ask for would be about $56,000 with pay and benefits. Byers wants the new case manager to help reduce the number of clients each of the two current case managers are currently oversees (51).