Friday, August 22, 2014

NorCo Jail Treatment Plans Reviewed

Late last year, Lamont McClure was the sole vote against a $3.8 million plan to reduce recidivism at the Northampton County jail by treating inmates instead of just warehousing them. He opposed a five-year contract with Community Education Centers (CEC) to provide substance abuse programs called the Future Foundation program for men, Sister to Sister program for women and the West Easton Treatment Facility program. CEC had argued that its graduates have a recidivism rate of just 36%, well below the national average of 69%. McClure questioned the data, and a recent audit by Controller Steve Barron proves that recidivism may very well be higher than projected. The audit also reveals that the County needs to consider treatment programs that continue after release from jail.

Barron's audit, which was authorized by an unanimous Council in February, reviewed the Future and Sister programs, but not the West Easton Treatment facility. He shared the following findings with County Council last night:

* 51% of the people who have completed these programs were arrested again, meaning that the recidivism rate is higher than the 36% projected to the County.

* Two individuals who were reported as completely rehabilitated were actually residing in the jail at the time of the audit.

* People who participate in these programs tend to have fewer incidents in jail than the rest of the population.

* Only 11% of the money paid to CEC is spent on overhead.

* CEC is accredited and meets the standards for programs like the ones provided in Northampton County.

* Northampton County's lack of an aftercare program for recently released inmates is thought to have led some to re-offend.

Barron is recommending that state grants be used to help fund drug and mental health courts as well as an after care program.

CEC's Dr. Ralph Fretz, who reviewed and responded to Barron's audit, agreed that aftercare needs to be part of the "continuum of care" that starts in jail. "That's where the rubber hits the road," he said.

Director of Corrections Arnie Matos directed Council to another number - the jail census. That hovered over 900 before these programs started, but has dropped to 629. "I can't say it's CEC," he conceded, but "[s]omething that's going on in Northampton County is working."

Executive John Brown told Council that he needs to discuss the audit with the "stakeholders", referring to the courts and jail officials. Noting the audit's recommendation concerning aftercare, Brown said he will study how that should be incorporated, either with or without CEC.

Mat Benol suggested there should be parameters inserted into the contract, and Brown agreed.

Glenn Geissinger said he would have preferred that this contract be considered by the new Council. But he added, "When you're dealing with human beings, we need to create the programs."

Scott Parsons stated he was happy that all seem to acknowledge that some kind of treatment program is needed.  "We're putting a dollar out on somebody's life to help them get better," he reasoned.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bernie the 69% is a state average not federal.

Bernie O'Hare said...

According to the ET article to which I link, the 69% figure was called the national average by Arnie Matos. I will look into that tomorrow.

Bernie O'Hare said...

http://www.nij.gov/topics/corrections/recidivism/Pages/welcome.aspx

The nat'l figure is quoted as 68%

Anonymous said...

"a recent audit by Controller Steve Barron proves that McClure may very well be higher than projected"

i dpn't know why the hell Barron would be auditing this, but it does explain a lot.

Anonymous said...

Treatment, treatment, treatment... what about PUNISHMENT! Don't do the crime if you can't do the time comes to mind. While we spend millions on treatment of criminals... we want to shut down Gracedale and throw grammy and pawpaw on the streets. This County government is upside down and lost without a compass.

Anonymous said...

When are our County Officials going to do something about the "sixty plus million dollars" the Criminals owe the County for fines,fees, costs, and restitution to those who were victims?
This is bullshit. treating the slimy bastards like they're human. They are criminals who steal from the elderly and victimize the frail and fragile citizens of our County. Throw all the bastards in jail until someone pays their financial debt to society. Don't let them out of jail until they pay us for costs they incurred. If this means the slimy scum bags stay in jail for the rest of their lives, well so be it. At least then we don't have to worry about the recidivism rate.
Oh by the way, I used to work for the County. I saw first hand the "gold and silver jewelry" these people would wear into our offices to pay on a payment plan. They would flaunt it on collection day because they know we couldn't take it from them.
Tell the Judges and The Executive to get off their dead asses and get me my restitution. I'm a victim.

Bernie O'Hare said...

""a recent audit by Controller Steve Barron proves that McClure may very well be higher than projected"

i dpn't know why the hell Barron would be auditing this, but it does explain a lot."


OMG. I am an idiot. I made the changes.

Anonymous said...

"....we want to shut down Gracedale and throw grammy and pawpaw on the streets."

Give this lie a rest. Grammy and pawpaw will go to a place that provides FAR better care than Gracedale and receives higher reimbursements than Gracedale, which has a terrible rating and is bleeding the non-Gracedale elderly of this county to death.

Bernie O'Hare said...

In fairness, Gracedale has made strides. Its rating is up, and I personally have seen that the staff there really do care about the residents. But it is costing us more than thought.

Anonymous said...

In fairness, "making strides" does not amount to better care or ratings. Gracedale offers inferior care to private facilities that receive higher reimbursements and don't financially harm the overwhelming majority of retired, and still working poor, elderly residents of the county.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Gracedale, how would anyone have been thrown out on the street?

I thought the plan was to sell it, not close it.

Anonymous said...

Many of the commenters have not seen the "care "in the private homes. A dumping ground for old people. Drugged up and alone.

Anonymous said...

3This Gracedale not taking care of humans has always been a true factor asI done a report on county nursing homes? The other side of the coin is part of the elder abuse private sector locally in the triboro area? There care is just as bad if not worse, a freinds mother was starved to death because her alhiemerzers was to much for them to care for anymore? So they doped her up until she passed?

Owe and than they took her house that her son resided in anyway after billing medicade a monthy amount that was more than most hospital stays in hospice????

America The Civilized Nation????

redd
patent pending

Anonymous said...

Redd,
That taking of property to pay debt is the reason transfer of ownership requirements were raised to 5 years from the previous 3 years. People were getting smart enough to immediately transfer property and all assets while they had the mind to do so upon diagnosis of a disease that would need long term care within a few years.
We pay into the system our entire lives, but the goverment still want everything we own in the end.

Anonymous said...

You use your housed to pay the nursing home PRIVATE as well as public. Open thy mind.

Anonymous said...

+
Corrections is a mandate..the county has no choice but to deal with it. It is not an option. when the judges and courts lighten up..then things have a chance of evening out and maybe some progress can be made. But the continued hard liners will push for more..not less incarcerations. People in jail can't vote either so another political incentive rears it's ugly little head. Wise up people!

Anonymous said...

CEC is not accredited. Inmates get nothing for completing this course of study. Talk to the inmates who are at the mercy of the jail. They have been coerced into being in this thing regarless of the charges against them. Circumvention of court orders is illegal and this jail admin. does as it pleases because they operate out of sight of the public. The game is rigged.

Anonymous said...

Inmates with no addiction issues are being forced into the CEC program to prop up the numbers. It does them no good and is insulting as they do not have addiction issues but the jail could care less. Make it look good..numbers can say whatever you want them to say. So what if the court has ordered them to be sent out on work release. Locked down and forced to endure this program..for what/

Bernie O'Hare said...

10:43, if you read the audit or even this account, you'd know that CEC is accredited.

Bernie O'Hare said...

10:52, this was not identified as an issue. People who have no substance abuse problems might need treatment. I think some of you inside the jail have something against CEC. I know some of these concerns, but aren't you all on the same side?

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't argue that the majority of offenders will repeat, but there are many success stories. Men and women have been rehabilitated and turned their lives around, bettering themselves and their community.

There are certainly those who need to be locked up and the key thrown away, but those who think every offender shouldn't be offered a chance at redemption isn't part of a civilized nation. You need to relocate to some of those Middle East countries that lop off hands for petty theft, or stone women to death for unmarried sex.

That sounds like your kind of justice.

Anonymous said...

Accredited by who? The State Of PA? I beg to differ. Just because this Fretz guy says something..you buy it hook line and sinker? Wake up Bernie. You have been duped along with Stoffa by the jailers. Stop taking everything they say as gospel. How about some fair reporting instead of repeating the jail adm's. mantra.

Anonymous said...

All you know is what you are told by Matos. Consider the source.

Anonymous said...

Shortell is doing a better job on this than you are. Shown up by the E-T's staff!

Bernie O'Hare said...

My sources for this story consist of the audit report, Barron's power point and the response by CEC and Matos. Barron did say where CEC is accredited, and I will post that when I return home. He noted the jail is not accredited. I went to a meeting and reported what was said to the best of my ability. If you feel Tom is doing a better job on this one, good for him. He is very good and the ET is lucky to have him.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I've reviewed by snapshots of Barron's power point. He does not say where CEC is accredited, just that it is. The jail is not accredited by the ACA, so it's not there.

Anonymous said...

"He is very good and the ET is lucky to have him."

And we're very lucky to have you, Bernie. If 12:48PM has a problem with your reporting, they can take it to the outhouse and stick their head in first by simply sitting down. They obviously have their head up their butt. Jackass.

Anonymous said...

Barron is an ass. What state grants ?

Bernie O'Hare said...

State grants are available for after care, according to CCAP.

Anonymous said...

Heard some great news late but must share it. Speaking of prisons and treatment. Jim Gregory may be getting out of prison soon. Word is it could be within a couple weeks. The good news is he has been reading the Bible and has become a much more devout Christian. He has been housed with a convicted attorney who has helped him with matters of law and life. He is less angry and more forgiving of those who have wronged him. At one time he was very angry with many and thought of revenge, no more. He was also angry with you Bernie for your actions but apparently he is now feeling more forgiveness towards you and the others who have put him in this position.

He hopes to be released soon and dedicate time to helping people with both a better understanding of God's love and forgiveness but also how to learn to love and forgive those who make you suffer.

I think this may be the start of a new life for Mr. Gregory. He may be a great help to others who are in trouble.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Gregory is as nutty as they come, and his post on MezzacEaZy's blog shows how forgiving he is, although he should be the one seeking forgiveness.

Anonymous said...

I will believe it when I see it. This guy will be drunk and fighting within a month of release.

Anonymous said...

MezzaLunatic swoops in at 2:13 AM, and posts more of her crap in an attempt to hijack a thread. Greggy's "letter" shows no forgiveness. He accuses Bernie of "stalking", a lie, alleges TM had a great case for filing a PFA, another lie (it was not granted), says TM was "justifed" in posting libelous claims on a blog (not true - libel is illegal), calls Bernie a "coward" (is this because Bernie didn't stand idly by while someone accused him of pedophilia, stalking and assault?).

Gregory is sick, and a criminal. He's come out and commit more crimes against innocent victims, just like his good buddy. It's in their blood.