Delaware County commissioners have approved two contracts for assessing criminal offenders that could provide treatment rather than jail time.
Commissioners last week heard discussion on two separate contracts — one with Maryhaven Inc. and the other with Recovery and Prevention Resources of Delaware and Morrow Counties Inc. The two contracts are essentially the same — providing assessments and services to determine the eligibility of offenders for treatment in lieu of conviction and possible jail time.
“The assessments help the judges determine treatment options and it helps keep a conviction off the offenders’ record,” said Linda Kiser, administrator of Delaware County Common Pleas Court.
The service is essentially for first-time offenders. “They are evaluated to see if they are eligible for treatment in lieu of processing through the criminal system and unnecessarily being stigmatized,” said Chris Betts, assistant county prosecuting attorney.
“The contracts are set at a maximum of $20,000,” Betts said. “It’s my understanding that the court hasn’t come close to that amount.”
The county rarely sees a bill for assessment services. “The only time a fee gets charged to the county is if it’s an out-of-county resident,” Betts said. “Otherwise, it’s usually picked up by insurance or other sources besides county funds.”
In other business, David Dombrosky, director of Delaware County Job and Family Services, sought commissioners’ approval on a contract for the purchase of temporary employment and payroll services with Acloche Staffing. Commissioners approved the request.
Acloche will act as the temporary employer for the youth of the county who meet the requirements of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. “By rule, the agency can’t be the employer of record,” Dombrosky said.
According to Dombrosky, 38 youth were employed last year, putting in 11,735 hours of work. The total income earned by the youth was $17,732. “What was pretty cool last year was four kids ended up being employed by the placing agency,” he said. “It’s a pretty successful program.”
The program will run May through August this year. “It’s pretty cool for these kids because they are low-income youth,” Dombrosky said. “It teaches them job skills and it helps build their resume.”