Inmate offers ways to improve

Reader Input
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I’m currently an inmate at PCSO, and therefore have a pointed interest in the new laws effective Oct. 1 and any subsequent proposed changes in sentencing. In 2007 I was a student at the Placer County Daily Reporting Center (D.R.C.). This program was run for inmates as an alternative sentencing program. The program that was shut down due to lack of funding in 2007 was run by Vicky Lowery of the Placer County Probation Department. I believe the program had many key benefits, and with some revamping, could not only be viable, but find success in this new paradigm of (jail) overpopulation. It is my belief that the program as run before was a huge benefit to the inmates looking for education. I think it could also have been a good alternative for the county if financially feasible, which it obviously wasn’t. The changes I would like to suggest would include additional life skills training and counseling assistance as well as a nominal fee to cover operating costs. The idea would be to make it self-sustaining after initial startup (restart) costs. Like before, the inmates accepted into the program would be issued a GPS ankle monitor, only this time charge a daily fee paid weekly, say $10 a day. Staffed by two P.O.’s, a counselor and a teacher (Placer School for Adults), this program could not only monitor inmates, but promote reintegration. Classes for GED, computers, parenting, résumé preparation and interviewing could be offered as well as personal progress assistance/assessment. Every inmate would be required to be employed part time with hours complementary to the program (nights, swing, etc.) Interview history would also be required. The benefits of this program would include a more intimate daily monitoring of enrollees with few county employees and no county beds. It would reduce the need for regular home visits, reducing cost while actually creating a revenue base. The appeal to the enrollees is a program with life skills training and more flexibility than jail. TY ALCORN, AUBURN