Friday, September 06, 2013

Some Facts About Jail and Recidivism

Community Education Centers is under contract at Northampton County to provide rehab programs for various inmates. Last night, they made a presentation to County Council, apparently thinking that our legislators are there for 30 to 60 days. It was TMI time, and had they kept going, I think we'd be hearing right about now how many times inmates fart every day. But ironically, the information provided was incomplete.

Since March 2009, 378 inmates have graduated from CEC programs. Since that time, only 36% have recidivized, i.e. returned to Northampton County jail. Of that number, most are returned for probation or parole violations.

The problem with this figure is that it is too early to say whether that 36% figure will remain at 36% after five or six years, or after more inmates have graduated. Also, as pointed out by Council member Lamont McClure, the recidivism rate is based on return to Northampton County jail. Other jails might be missed.

Director of Corrections Arnie Matos, a bit more to the point, told Council it costs $87.25 to house an inmate for one day, and the average stay is 79 days. Every time recidivism is reduced by one percentage point, it saves Northampton County $250,000.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

With such a huge expense for housing prisoners one may ask why is political prisoner Jim Gregory in jail. Hopefully tomorrow the judge ends this farce and sets him free of all charges.

Anonymous said...

Facts? Initially..this program had value..as it was voluntary and guys chose to do the self help program. It has been co-opted by the court and the jail and is being used as a plea bargaining device. Ask the guys who blew up the meth lab in Bethlehem how good the program was. Both star graduates of CEC and Santosland. It is now a farce as they can't retain their staff and it is a mess leadership wise. Dump it and move on. Now a waste of tax payer money.

Anonymous said...

matos is one of Stoffa's best appointments

Anonymous said...

This CEC thing now costs over 500K per year and the 1871 part of the jail is falling down around the counties ears and is a liability case for mersa and inhumane housing subject to closure at any time by the Feds. Nothing to see here..keep moving folks.ftersum 906

Anonymous said...

CEC is also used as punishment and it is used to extend the time people have to spend in jail when they could be released and be out seeking jobs to pay their fines and costs. Really stupid idea.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Matos dancing on a string. The next county executive will replace him..no doubt. Not a great choice by John Stoffa. It was it seems a lame duck thing and not much thought went into it. Should have left him in charge of the volunteer corp.

Bernie O'Hare said...

What a nasty person you must be. No wonder you won't sign your name.

Bernie O'Hare said...

All of these criticisms on=f CEC, whicj I have never heard expressed by a person who is willing to identify himslef, explain why McClure has "questions" last night. He and Barron hate the notion of spending money on inmates, and want to get rid of the program. He's looking for a reason to call the program a bust and is trashing matos, too.

There's a reason why McClure came in third.

Also, people in the County now know Barron is a phony, and he will lose the next Controller race, should he dare to run.

Clinton Oxford said...

The old way of sentenceing was rehab AFTER incarceration, usually 30 day's, paid for by Medical Assistance/Public Welfare.

Is funding still available for this method?

Anonymous said...

You are being naive Bernie. Your listening to the wrong people and giving them way too much credibility. Wake up and stop accepting the spoon feeding you are swallowing whole. Your respect is well intentioned but misdirected. Your being duuped on this one. CEC is failing and Matos is trying to prop it up as a savior when it no longer is. There were success stories..but not as many as your being told. Take off the blinders.

Anonymous said...

I am no Lamont follower or Barron's but they are right on this one. One size does not fit all..inmates. CEC has run it's course and the people in charge of it are trying to justify continuing the now obvious farce.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You want me to take off the blinders but you won't identify yourself. I am aware of problems at CEC as i know people who work there. I am not aware of problems with the idea or with Arnie Matos.

Bernie O'Hare said...

If you want to call CEC a farce, why so unwilling to ID yourself? I pointed out that Houser and the other fellow were CEC grads. I have pointed out the failures. But 36% is a pretty good figure, even if the 36% claimed is actually 50%. When people criticize others and don't have the courage to identify themselves, I question the validity of the criticism. As for Matos, I judge people by my own interactions with them. I really admire and actually respect Matos. I know he cares deeply about his job, the people who work for him and the inmkates in his care.

Anonymous said...

Exactly..you are not aware. I just made you aware. Sorry but Mr. Stoffa had a great idea and it worked until he turned his back on it and let the courts and the jail do their hatchet job on it. Could it be a good program again? Yes it could but not under this regime.

Bernie O'Hare said...

No you really did not. The data provided was at an open meeting. You are just making anonymous personal attacks, and those are pretty much valueless. I was aware of problems at CEC. I know about that. I was unimpressed by the presentation until matos spoke. I am impressed by Matos. I am unimpressed by personal criticisms from people who do not tell me who they are. You can whisper into the ears of Barron and McClure, but i want to know who you are.

Clinton Oxford said...

The Judge's are the People whom rely on the Integrity of the Program, when making Judicial Decision's.

The Court's input should be sought.

Anonymous said...

Historically Northhampton County has done very little for its women prisoners. This is something of the scandal and a damn shame.

Anonymous said...

I have no contact with either county employees you just named. Why you are impressed with Arnie is beyond me especially in light with his former office partner at the jail who you know is a farce and a tax cheat. You want to call that an attack..so be it. The truth will come out eventually
and then maybe you will see it for what it is.

Anonymous said...

I think the real issue at hand should be what does it cost the community til the said perpatrator is incarcerated again¿ Just one life is not in this recidivism equasion¿

David Lea, Graduate C.E.C. said...

It is very easy to criticize and/or applaud anything from the outside looking in. It is even easier to complain about third party issues, such as what the, “courts, Matos, Stoffa,” etc. are doing in regard to things such as the C.E.C. program and how it reflects on a community or on the graduates of such a treatment opportunity. I do not speak for society, but at the risk of being overly generous, maybe we should consider the welfare of the individual first. Let us start with a definition.
Recidivism; is measured by criminal acts that resulted in the rearrests, reconviction, or return to prison with or without a new sentence during a three-year period following the prisoner's release. (Federal Bureau of Justice, http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=17).
One thing to consider, or more than one possibly, is that none of us know what the hell we are talking about when it comes to inmates returning to jail after graduating the CEC program. The biggest thing that is considered from the average citizen, in regard to an issue like this, is whether or not the Ex-inmate is raping, robbing or killing me or my family. As far as the tax money is concerned, that could be a legitimate concern but who can actually feel that make a difference? They could take a bulldozer and flatten that prison and John Doe citizen would never see a dime in return tax revenue. The CEC being weighed against graduates that return to society and turn out to be total assholes with no regard for their selves is an extremely unjust comparison. The statistics that are used to get the percentages for the CEC recidivism rate are based on probation and parole data, not just the building at 666 Walnut Street. The Federal standard that everyone seems to compare the local standard too is based on hundreds of different criteria such as drug type, offense type, race, geographical and social standards, family dynamics, age, education, and more additional things than I care to list. Instead of pointing our ill-advised fingers at the results of the rehab program, why not point them in a direction that makes sense.
For example; Director of Corrections Arnie Matos, a bit more to the point, told Council it costs $87.25 to house an inmate for one day, and the average stay is 79 days. Every time recidivism is reduced by one percentage point, it saves Northampton County $250,000.
With the national average of recidivism being a lose 71% (Ibid), the program at the prison has saved the county over 5 MILLION dollars in in the “79 day” window. You do the math on the rest. Now if it is not true then nail Bernie O’Hare to the cross for printing such a lie or call Matos a liar to his face –if you can prove it and have the balls to back your complaints- or shut up. Why do you want to hurt even one man or woman who is trying to recover by bashing any program like the CEC. People will relapse, kill, rob, steal, overdose, commit more crime and eventually die because that is life. Then again some will not. Maybe not as many as you would like but some of the graduates will be saved by the opportunity of such a program. To say anything in regard to another person’s shot at getting their life back, from a position of ZERO incite or experience, is the crime here. Why not do what I and others do? Yes me. Get off your ill-advised soap box and go out and try to find a way to help another person. I guarantee there will be a time in your life, if has not happened already, that you wish a person would do it for you.
Thank You,
David Lea, Jailed for DUI at Northampton County Jail with 30+ years of drug and alcohol addiction and 3 failed rehabs “12 step programs” under my belt and nothing else.
David Lea, a graduate of Community Education Program, courting two degrees in Business and Information technology with over 39 months of sobriety and helping others to recover.

Clinton Oxford said...

David,
Kudo's....Elvis has left the building!

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Historically Northhampton County has done very little for its women prisoners. This is something of the scandal and a damn shame"

That is true and is a damn shame. But there just have been far fewer female inmates so it is difficult to get things going for them that are available to the men. Prison officials are trying to change that situation, and have a new program going for women.

Anonymous said...

Bernie did Barron question this report or make a statement about CEC. I don't believe he has. He has also commended Matos at a recent finance committee I saw online. How did you get from the meeting McClure and Barron don't like CEC or Matos. McClure asked questions and was respectful and Barron said nothing.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Those two are too easy. Barron is glued to McClure at the hip. McClure's modus operandi is to embarrass people with "respectful" questions and then unveil his real agenda. His real agenda is that he does not give a shit about inmates. He made that clear during a Council denate, in which he said he was fine with them sleeoing on cots or the floor. Knowing that Gracedale is eating away at the reserve, he does not want to spend a dime on anything else, and will look to make foolish cuts. remember, this is the guy who pledged not to raise taxes for 4 years. Barron demonstrated to Callahan's people that he can't be trusted, so he is in bed with McClure.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

Your hatred for Barron and McClure over Gracedale really is not flattering. Barron has a huge base outside Callahan's crowd and is more respected than you know.

He may be a phony, but he honestly will get elected by the citizens over and over. He works hard, is all over the county at different events, is a member of tons of organizations and while you don't agree with him he is effective and pushing for things that have saved taxpayers money.

From stopping a needless tax increase to saving money with inventive ideas. Ya gotta admit the kid has game.

Bernie O'Hare said...

First, I do not hate anyone. Second, my disdain for them both arises, not from Gracedale, but from their disdain for the people they were elected to represent. McClure can't be bothered to show up for committee meetings, does nothing for his community and ran a nasty campaign for Exec that he had to know he would lose, full of needless and classless personal attacks. Barron is a political controller who actually has admitted that he sits down with union agents to give them guidance on how to negotiate contracts with the County. He helped chase T-Mobile out of the LV with threats of official retaliation for not going union. And he is lazy. Though he is supposed to be the full-time Controller, he is never there. The only time you'll see him is when he is looking for a newspaper quote. He might actually be worse than McClure. They are both bad for government and bad for people. I expect to see them both challenged next year. McClure will never win bc his district has become more R. Barron was never too poopular to begin with, and has provoked the wrong kind of people. These include the Callahan camp, Stoffa,the ArtsQuest crowd, to name a few.

Anonymous said...

It's 2 years to Barron and McClure's re-elect. I think McClure's District being redrawn may hurt him and he may not win.

However, Barron has his own crowd in the party and is not attached to Callahan. This is a good thing for government.

Anything is better than Stoffa and Barron should be happy Stoffa (the many who will go down in history as trying to sell Gracedale) is one democrat Barron can do without.

You mentioned Angle was gonna run. You really think he can beat anyone countywide?

Barron will out work anyone if he decides to run again! Just like he did in his last two races.

Haters gotta hate and Bernie is a Barron and McClure hater. That's not a bad thing for them. That's for sure.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Like I said, I hate no one. I just call it the way i see it. And I have seen Barron for what he is. I am strongly urging Angle to run. If there is anyone Angle can beat county-wide, it is Barron. But right now Angle is busy making money. But I can guarantee you he will have opponents.