County Corrections Program finds success taking young offenders out of jail

Published: May. 6, 2022 at 6:43 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -The rising County jail population isn’t a new problem, but there is a new solution, born out of Community Corrections Workers seeing that young offenders, the mostly likely to re-offend need more support.

Between 2018 and now Community Corrections has pulled 75 men and 30 women between 18 and 30 years old out of the Lancaster County Jail and moved them to house arrest with the goal of stopping the cycle of young inmates reoffending.

“They move to a sober living program in the community,” said Taryn Tolliver, Reentry Program Manager. “They’re given substance abuse evaluation and treatment, provided job services, mental health services.”

The program was initially paid by a $2 million grant aimed at reducing recidivism at the county level. To test the effectiveness, 45 male participants were studies. Of that group, 21 completed the program. Of those 21, just four reoffended for a recidivism rate of 19%, that’s nearly half the county jail average of 34%.

“The work we do in this department is important and it works,” said Kim Etherton, Director, Community Corrections. “We use evidence based practices and it’s nice to have the data show us the work we’re doing is making a difference.”

The Community Corrections Department said there’s a lot to learn here about what resources make the biggest difference.

“If we give them not just a job, but a job that’s meaningful to them and get them into classes and school if that’s what’s needed we’re having better success,” said Landon Parks, Asst. Director, Community Corrections.

They say this effort benefits the entire community.

“We can accomplish our goal of reintegrating people back into society and changing lives and a way that’s much cheaper than the prison system,” said XXXX

While this initial study is over, the program continues. They are going to be studying the kind of impact this has on women in the same age group moving forward.

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