By Kayla Carter
Feasibility is the bar county officials will have to clear in order to establish a county probation department, one that could either yield new revenue – or become a costly burden.
But the director of the existing, non-profit, program says the numbers being cited in support of the change are unrealistic.
And her assessment of the county’s chances of collecting the half-million dollar total indicated in a presentation?
The plan for the county to provide probation services was carried before the Carter County Commission by Law Enforcement Committee Chairman Richard Winters on Tuesday.
“The Law Enforcement Committee considered the possibility of forming the county’s own probation department,” Winters said. “Mr. (L.C.) Tester has done some legwork on this, and has done a very good job investigating this.”
Winters presented information to the Commission that Commissioner Tester brought to his committee on Jan 13.
Tester previously said there are about 1,258 people on active probation for misdemeanor offenses.
In his committee proposal last week, Tester acknowledged that the number of people on probation fluctuates. He also pointed out that the number of people placed on probation has increased.
“The fees figured on that number at $35 a month would account to a lot of money,” Winters said. “It’s going to be somewhere in the order of $528,360.”
Other factors associated with initial costs have been considered.
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