DUBOIS CO., Ind. (WFIE) - The results are in from the Dubois County Jail study. Organizers share how the jail and its systems could be more efficient.
“The whole idea is, that the right people stay in jail, and the right people get treatment, and right people go home and wait for their court date,” said Chad Blessinger, a Dubois Co. Commissioner.
Blessinger says this recent study was conducted to see how the jail and its system could be more efficient.
“One of the things that they recommended is something we’ve been working on already, which was an expansion of bed space, and programming in the community corrections,” said Blessinger.
The study also suggested they add a text message system, so people could be reminded about their court dates.
"A lot of people will go to jail for not showing up to their appointments," said Blessinger.
Blessinger hopes this could lead to fewer missed appointments, and fewer failure to appear charges, which could help cut down on jail overcrowding. The jail plan also looks at potentially starting a public offender office.
“Sometimes when people go to their initial hearing, they don’t have representation," Blessinger said. “If we have a public defender’s office, that’s another way we may be able to get people back home, back on the streets or into jail if they need to.”
Plus, Blessinger says the jail study also revealed the county should create a substance abuse treatment facility.
“Right now, our options are limited," he said. “Somebody has to go at least an hour away if they want residential treatment of any kind.”
Blessinger says the study suggests they expand community corrections as well. He added this idea will also make the county’s jail system more organized.
“People can pay their own way. They can continue to work and support themselves in the community and get the treatment they need, so hopefully, they won’t re-offend,” said Blessinger.
The Dubois County Community Foundation funded this study. Blessinger says that the foundation will be funding the next step in this process. They hired a consulting agency in Indianapolis.