Thursday, October 05, 2006

Incarceration Alternatives: From Smith County, a Plan Emerges

I've mentioned District Judge Cynthia Kent's campaign in my hometown of Tyler to reject new jail building and focus on incarcerating fewer low-level, non-violent offenders. Yesterday I wrote that a plan for incarceration alternatives was approved and funded, and today I received a copy of the plan itself, which you can view here (pdf):
I haven't had a chance to go through it yet, but wanted to get the link up. The plan was authored by Judge Kent and Smith County probation director Gerald Hayden. Thanks, Judge, for making this resource publicly available so other counties can see what y'all are doing.

The Day Reporting Center and other programs may go on line as soon as December. Smith County won't yet launch a drug court or special sanctions court, as Judge Kent at one time hoped, but they're trying several alternatives aimed at specific jail populations (e.g., people who don't pay child support) that might interest other counties with overcrowded jails. Necessity, as always, gives birth to invention.

More on this, perhaps, over the weekend when I have time to read Smith County's plan in detail. Until then,

See prior related Grits' coverage:

1 comment:

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Your book?! What's that, 800? Give us a link.