Harvey County Jail trying to lower repeat offender rate

Harvey County Sheriff trying to lower the recidivism rate or repeat offender rate with programs for inmates.

MGN Online

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Newton, KAN. -- Check any county and you will often find a revolving door of the same people coming through the jail system.

However, despite tight budgets the Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton is trying to help offenders break the cycle with a number of programs.

Walton said from talking to inmates he sees the same problems. "Both drugs and alcohol," he said. "Large problems. Economic situations."
So Walton has been promoting programs such as Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous, reading, GED, and resume building programs. Even meditation.

And how does he answer those who say inmates should get nothing but food and a cell? "Their tax dollars are going to be spent regardless", Walton said. "If we don't do something to correct the behaviors and we just send them back out, they're coming back."

Beverly Metcalf, CEO of Mirror Inc., a substance abuse and treatment agency, says the problem is real. "You can see figures from sixty to ninety percent of the people who are involved in the criminal justice system have problems related to chemical dependency", said Metcalf.

Sheriff Walton says there are some bad people in the jail. But many can be helped to keep out of the revolving door of repeat offender.

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