Commissioners contract out probation service
By David Bodenheimer
Published: Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 2:25 p.m.
A first-time contract to outsource Day Reporting Services in Davidson County
received unanimous approval Thursday morning from the Davidson County Board
Commissioners agreed to contract the program to Salisbury-based Alternatives
Counseling. The Day Reporting Services program was developed by The Criminal
Justice Partnership Program in an effort to give offenders in Davidson
County the opportunity to remain in the community, work and receive
treatment as needed, generally at no cost to the offender.
The average length of time an offender stays in the program varies but is
usually between six to 12 months. Each offender has his or her own personal
treatment plan that focuses on their needs.
Alternatives Counseling will provide outpatient substance abuse services to
intermediate level offenders who are referred to the program by community
corrections or directly by a judge.
Alternatives Counseling is licensed by the North Carolina Department of
Health and Human Services and is also a licensed DWI treatment provider.
In essence, the service is of no cost to Davidson County, which will pay out
roughly $126,000 to Alternatives Counseling through grant money it receives
from the state.
The contract, effective immediately, will run until June 30, 2011.
“The Day Reporting Board and the probation folks agreed with the contract
and said that it would be more efficient to contract out the service,” said
assistant county manager Zeb Hanner. No jobs were lost during the
outsourcing process, said Hanner.
The only real challenge with the deal will be stretching the money.
Commissioner Don Truell asked, “If they happen to run out of money in
October, would the program just end?”
Hanner confirmed that the program would fizzle out in such a case but did
say Alternatives Counseling plans to meet every quarter to address and look
at its finances.
An average cost per participant was not available, but it was estimated that
Alternatives Counseling will treat between 90-105 offenders during the
Thursday's meeting was the first in more than a month, as the board recessed
for much of July. During that time, commissioner Sam Watford attended the
National Association of Counties conference in Reno, Nev.
Watford gave a brief report to the board on his experiences during the
six-day conference that included over 40 discussions and sessions on topics
like health reform, jail diversion and transportation among others.
“I enjoyed it, it was a good trip,” Watford said.
The board will meet again at 7 Tuesday night on the fourth floor of the
Davidson County Governmental Center.
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