Commission extends corrections program

Published 10:17am Monday, July 15, 2013

In its first year since implementation, Elmore County’s Community Corrections program is showing results.
In a report to the commission as the program’s one-year anniversary approaches, Jennifer Smith said the program has proven “quite difficult.”
“That’s to be expected, because we’re supervising people who should be in prison,” Smith told commissioners, noting just 12 have “failed out” and entered the corrections system.
But of the 70 who have chosen community corrections over a stay at the county jail or a state prison, 34 are now gainfully employed. Fifty-four county residents are active in the program, which is a nonprofit organization within DoC that is a step between probation and prison available only to non-violent offenders.
Commissioners unanimously approved extending the program for another year.
In other commission business:
•Sara Byard of the Central Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission presented information about a Resource Conservation and Development Council grant opportunity worth $13,000 in match funding to expand recreation opportunities in the county. Byard suggested using the funding for construction and improvements to the playground at Crenshaw Park.
•Discussed the looming deadline for information to update the national Flood Insurance Program. County Engineer Richie Beyer noted that property owners located in the flood plains of the Alabama and Coosa rivers are running out of time to provide information on steps taken to mitigate the risk of flooding.
•Emergency Management Director Eric Jones was presented with the President’s Award from the Alabama Association of Emergency Managers. Jones, who served as the association’s president last year, stepped in to lead the group when its intended 2013 president was deployed overseas and unable to serve. Commissioners also presented Jones with a certificate to mark the honor.
•The Elmore County Firefighters Assocation presented the commission with an award in appreciation for the county’s ongoing funding of area volunteer firefighters’ workman’s compensation costs. Lynda Feaga, county administrator, said the expense is usually around $30,000 per year.

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