Whether it is across the country or across town, most people can identify with the notion that moving is a pain. For the Daviess County Community Corrections staff the moving might be called a growing pain. Staff members have been packing for a week and now are out of the offices in the Daviess County jail and into a new home seven blocks down the street at 415 West Walnut St. in Washington.
“When we started 30 years ago we were in with the probation office in the courthouse, and then we outgrew that space and moved to the jail, and now we have grown to the point where we need our own space,” said Community Corrections Executive Director Diana Snider, as she sat among the boxes and equipment waiting to be assembled at the new office.
The move for the office was a major undertaking and while it has gone smoothly it has also had challenges. “We had a road crew from the jail come in and help with some of the move and some of the community service people,” said Snider. “We moved most of the stuff in the rain on Thursday. All of our cars were loaded and I don’t know how many truck loads we had. The bulk of the stuff is here now. It’s just a matter of putting it away.”
Community Corrections has seen a lot of growth in both demand for its service and in the number of people involved in the work release and home detention programs. “We started with two full-time and two part-time employees,” she said. “Now we have six full-time and three part-time people. We are also serving a much different population than we did in the beginning.”
As prisons and jails around the state have filled up, state and local officials have increasing turned to alternative sentencing as a way to keep them from overcrowding. Daviess County has one of the lowest rates in the state in sending people into the prison system. “It used to be that when someone got in trouble they either wound up on probation or being sent off to jail,” said Snider. “We provide a service in-between those extremes for people who really are not a threat to the community. We are an extra alternative and our judges and prosecutor have made use of it.”