proxy tool and active warrant ….
proxy tool and active warrant clean-up have lowered the jail population, but so has the COVID-19. As a result of the pandemic, the Division of Community Corrections (probation/parole) have adopted new practices and local judges have substituted virtual appearances for in-person court proceedings.
Leonhard said tthe county will need to maintain a lower jail population to balance future budgets. “We cannot afford to go back to our jail census of years past,” Leonhard said.
The administrator told supervisors that he has already met with Sheriff Scott Parks, District Attorney Theresa Wetzsteon and Clerk of Court Shirley Lang to help pilot a “systems” approach to funding the county’s justice departments. Such a system would generate additional savings, but share these savings with justice system departments.
“While we don’t know exactly what this new system will look like, there was broad support for this approach,” he said.
The proposed budget reflects this philosophy. While the sheriff’s department jail budget takes a $575,000 hit, funding for the sheriff’s department will increase significantly this year. The department will get new body cameras and emergency communication equipment, as well as more money for a youth shelter home and fleet maintenance.
The proposed sheriff’s department budget is $15,048,845, a $899,474 or 6.4 percent increase over the current year. The department will get an extra $825,744 in tax levy, a 6.3 percent increase over the current year.