Launching a day reporting center is on the minds of officials in Carroll County.
The center would be used to divert nonviolent offenders from incarceration into programs where they can be monitored while receiving counseling, treatment, job training or other programing.
As reported in the Carroll County Times:
“I think it would have a significant impact on not only the drug problem in Carroll County, but specifically the [pressure] on the Detention Center,” said Warden George Hardinger.
“Sometimes incarceration is not the right option — it’s actually counter-productive,” Hardinger said.
Instead of jailing low-level nonviolent offenders, Hardinger said, the model would allow those who qualify to live at home and report to the center on a regular, often daily, basis.
At the jail, the individuals would be tested for drugs and alcohol; and receive counseling, therapy, drug and alcohol treatment, and education or job training, Hardinger said.
The move could also help the county deal with the effects of the Justice Reinvestment Act. The legislation, which was passed by the Maryland General Assembly in April, lowers the length of sentences for some low-level crimes, meaning some offenders who previously would have been housed in state prison may be required to serve their time at the county Detention Center instead.
If the day reporting program works well, it could eliminate the need in the county for a new minimum security facility and for weekend sentences, DeWees and Hardinger said.
The county may apply for a grant from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention to help cover the costs of starting a center.