Midland County officials are appealing to the state for reconsideration after it stripped $1.2 million in funding from the Court Residential Treatment Center and effectively closed the facility.This results directly from the decision by the Texas Legislature to use money from closing the Central Unit to pay for private prison beds instead of funding treatment and diversion programs. Penny wise; pound foolish. I don't know who they think they're going to "appeal" the decision to, though. The 82nd Legislature has ended and there's no way in hell Governor Perry would call a special session over that. A more realistic approach might be to solicit grant funds from the Governor's Criminal Justice division to pay for treatment.
"This is devastating for us," said Jed Davenport, director of the Community Supervision and Corrections Department.
The 50-bed facility is one of eight statewide being closed, Davenport said. Other facilities sustained a reduction in funding. Between the cuts, 343 beds in Texas are being lost for substance abuse treatment through the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Judge Rodney Satterwhite, of the 441st District Court, said they were alerted on July 11 of the closure and received a formal letter explaining the CRTC's defunding on Monday.
"It provides a valuable service to the citizens of Midland County," he said, speaking to county commissioners. "We as the judges of Midland County have decided we are going to appeal the decision."
Davenport said historically 73 percent of medium-risk inmates and 61 percent of high-risk inmates who complete the CRTC program are still clean three years later. This year, they are on track to have a success rate of 88 percent or higher, he said.
The program includes an intensive treatment period, counseling, support groups and measures to prepare inmates for life after treatment, such as GED attainment and work experience.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Midland judges mad at state treatment program cuts
Judges in Midland are unhappy that drug treatment funding was cut in Texas' budget for the upcoming biennium. A story from the Midland Reporter-Telegram opens: