Board renews contract with state for Sentence-to-Service programThe Washington County Board of Commissioners voted 4-0 Jan. 20 to renew a joint powers agreement with the state to continue its Sentence-to-Service program.
By: Hank Long, Woodbury Bulletin
The Washington County Board of Commissioners voted 4-0 Jan. 20 to renew a joint powers agreement with the state to continue its Sentence-to-Service program.
Now in its 20th year, the program provides low-risk offenders the opportunity to work off their sentences via organized community service.
The county’s community corrections division projects that 1,300 offenders will log more than 115,000 hours of service in the community in 2009. That equates to a savings of $1.6 million in services for the county and 37.5 jail beds a day, community correction officials said.
The joint powers agreement allows for the state to contribute up to 50 percent of financial resources to operate four of seven Sentence-to-Service crews.
Work performed by Sentence-to-Service crews ranges from cutting down buckthorn in local parks to picking up debris in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
Last May, Sentence-to-Service crews were on site within 24 hours of the tornado that struck the Hugo community. The crews assisted community members and public safety officials with clean up efforts.
Commissioner Dennis Hegberg complimented the program for its impact in the county.
“The county has stood out in recent years in the number of hours we have in participation of the programs,” Hegberg said.