Pharos-Tribune

Local News

October 14, 2012

Cass County work release program nears capacity

Some offenders find themselves waiting for spot

LOGANSPORT — With the work release program near capacity, inmates may be spending more time in jail as they wait for an opening in the

program.

The numbers for Cass-Pulaski Community Corrections have been near capacity for almost a year, according to the program’s director, Dave Wegner. The numbers have not affected the jail space, said Sheriff Randy Pryor, but judges say they have been forced to consider sentencing options more carefully.

In its third year, the work release program at 520 High St. covers offenders in Cass and Pulaski counties. The building has 52 beds, of which 40 are for men and 12 are for women.

“We are at capacity,” Wegner said last month.

Wegner said the program had been full or near full for almost a year and had a waiting list of six or seven people.

“Whatever the sentence, they’ll serve it in jail until we have an opening,” he said.

The higher priority cases, like offenders who already have a job or who are part of the community transitions program, often take

precedence over other offenders, Wegner said.

“It’s possible that they would serve their entire sentence in jail if we don’t have any openings,” Wegner said.  

Wegner said such cases are rare, however, and would happen only to offenders with shorter sentences.

Assistant Jail Commander Jasmine Barkas said inmates waiting for work release typically spend a few months waiting to get into the program. She added that while this did not affect a large number of inmates, it had become more common.

“It has been happening here recently,” she said.

The average length of stay at work release was 205 days, according to data from July 2011 to July 2012.

Before a client is admitted to the work release program, he or she has to complete a risk-needs assessment to determine whether the program is the correct fit.

Cass Superior Court II Judge Rick Maughmer said the near capacity status makes the court consider sentencing options more carefully.

“It affects us in that it reduces the options that we have,” he said.

The target population for work release are non-violent offenders convicted of nothing more serious than a class B felony.

Wegner added that before sentencing he communicates with lawyers and their clients about the availability of beds. That way, Wegner said, the clients know before pleading guilty that they might not be able to get into work release right away.

Sheriff Randy Pryor said the issue so far had not created a space crunch at the jail.

“Right now it hasn’t affected us,” he said.

Wegner said his staffers worked to create space at the work release center by moving offenders who qualify to in-home detention and then probation.

“We’re very proactive,” he said.

However, an offender’s path depends on the sentencing structure and success in the program, Wegner said.

Maughmer says that for most defendants the lack of space at the work release has not been a major factor.

“It’s really not a significant imposition in that we’re sending the people back to work,” he said.

• Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or caitlin.huston@pharostribune.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS-PT082114 Opera House Now.jpg Dreaming the old dreams over DELPHI — “To dream the old dreams over is a luxury divine.”That line from the late local poet James Whitcomb Riley was mentioned several times Wednesday at a celebration in Delphi. Those who quoted the line said it was a fitting description for one o

    August 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Schools react to report on bullying The Indiana Department of Education released the first-ever statewide data on school bullying three weeks ago, and a local school found out its data was not entirely accurate.Columbia Middle School — the only school in the Logansport Community School

    August 21, 2014

  • Logansport Learning Academy now open The city’s first-ever licensed early childcare center opened earlier this week.Logansport Learning Academy has been in the works since summer 2013 and finally opened its doors Monday with 12 kids attending and 30 signed up, according to owner David T

    August 21, 2014

  • Police Blotter: Aug. 20, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    August 20, 2014

  • Logansport City Council prepares 2015 budget Logansport City Council members started meeting with department heads earlier this week to discuss proposed expenses as they shape the budget for next year.Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin prefaced the discussion Monday night by saying the budget as it

    August 20, 2014

  • Staples to close by Sept. 20 Logansport's Staples office supply store is closing Sept. 20, a company spokesperson said. It's the latest in a slew of closings the company announced in March it would pursue, stating its goal was to shutter about 225 stores, more than 10 percent of

    August 20, 2014

  • NWS-PT082014 Earthquake4.jpg Shake, rattle and roll: Students learn earthquake safety with simulator WALTON — Lewis Cass Jr.-Sr. High School students experienced what three levels of earthquakes feel like during the school day Tuesday.The Quake Cottage, a mobile earthquake simulator, is run in partnership with the Indiana Department of Homeland Secu

    August 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • Grissom Fire Department 04 [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Military fire power: Grissom FD critical to regional safety GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE — There are six people trapped inside a burning airplane. You and your partner have 10 minutes to rescue them.And you have to do it blind, groping and crawling in total darkness, burdened down with fire gear and an oxygen tan

    August 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • NWS-PT082014 McTaggart awards.jpg Writers win McTaggart honors The Trustees of the Logansport-Cass County Public Library recently announced the winners of the fifth annual McTaggart Writing Competition.In the student poetry division, Lari Rutschmann took first place with her poem “Hands” and second place with an

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Data breach affects Dukes Memorial Hospital PERU — Dukes Memorial Hospital was one of nine Indiana hospitals affected by Monday's data breach at Community Health Systems. Community Health Systems — which is not affiliated with Community Health Network, the Indianapolis-based healthcare provide

    August 19, 2014

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man Seth Meyers Rolls Out Emmy Red Carpet Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Does Indiana need a statewide water management plan and an administrator to implement it?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
eEdition