County continues program serving federal convicts

The Federal Bureau of Prisons will pay Jackson County $1.56 million over the next three years to continue providing rehabilitation services for just-released federal offenders.

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners renewed the intergovernmental agreement unanimously today. The latest agreement goes into effect Sept. 1 and sunsets August 31, 2015.

Jackson County has provided services to the Bureau of Prisons since 2006, County Administrator Danny Jordan said. Through the agreement, the county has hosted a residential release center that provides offenders with community-based drug and alcohol treatment and additional life skills programs through Jackson County Community Justice.

"I think it's very effective from the sense that you're talking about people that would be getting released one way or the other," said Eric Guyer, Community Justice program manager.

Offenders are from Jackson County and have been convicted on a variety of federal charges, including tax-related issues, drugs and weapon charges.

Guyer said the program hosts anywhere from six to eight offenders at a time. They live in a dormitory and are monitored by Community Justice officials called transition center technicians.

"It's a little more structured than what I think people envision a halfway house to be," Guyer said.

Technicians facilitate meetings to help get offenders jobs and official identification.

"For those folks who have been somewhat transient or living institutional for a long time, documents like identification have been lost," Guyer said.

— Ryan Pfeil

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