Thursday afternoon members of the Marshall County Community Corrections Board and Justice Reinvestment Advisory Council (JRAC) held their meeting in the Community Resource Center. 

Chairman Judge Dean Colvin called the meeting to order and asked Community Corrections Director Ward Byers to present the quarterly report and explain the new requirements in reporting. 

Byers said, “As of January 1st all Community Supervision Agencies that provide electronic monitoring are required to complete a quarterly report for both the local JRAC board and the state board.”  The data details the number of individuals tracked each quarter and the number of case managers and their caseload.

In this first quarter, there were a total of 99 individuals on electronic monitoring with 4 supervision officers tracking them assisted by 3 field officers.  The report also details fees for the first quarter at #144,212 with fees collected at 95,472.61. 

During the first quarter of 2023, a total of 28 individuals completed the electronic monitoring conditions, 1 was terminated due to a new charge, and 17 were terminated due to technical violations.   The report listed 4 device malfunctions in the first quarter and 193,013 false location alerts. Ward Byers explained the huge number of false location alerts and said much of it depends on the number of satellites available for GPS monitoring.  They set up a home zone around their home and or place of employment and if the zone is too small and the GPS occasionally shows the points outside of the zone which the industry calls drift points.  He said, when that happens it will send off an alert indicating someone is outside of their assigned area.  The case manager, field officer, and director all receive the alert and look at the data to determine if it is an actual attempt to escape or if the signal is just drifting.  Byers said the smaller the zone is set the more chance for a false alert. 

Judge Colvin also had Byers comment on House Enrolled Act 101 which modified the definition of escape. 

Byers said, “There has always been the crime of escape.  There’s also been a crime of unauthorized absence from home detention as a misdemeanor.  The absence from home detention is being repealed and will no longer be around.  Everything will be escape a Level 6 Felony unless it involved violence or a deadly weapon and then it will be a Level 5 Felony.”  Byers continued, “Anytime anyone is not where they are supposed to be, leaves their house without permission, violates a schedule that has been set by the case manager, or removes or tampers with an ankle bracelet will be an escape as a level 6.  If it involves violence or a deadly weapon it will be a level 5.”

This now requires a written request to the case manager when before they could just call on the phone.  To meet the criteria, they use Court Fact which is an app community corrections clients download on their phones and the modification request can be made in the app with a response from the case manager.  Byers said they are both dated and time-stamped, so it meets the requirement.