Ripley County Community corrections program a success

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The Herald-Tribune on March 8, 2016 by Diane Raver

56de559680393.imageVERSAILLES – The community corrections program is up and running very successfully in Ripley County, according to Superior Court Judge Jeff Sharp and Prosecutor Ric Hertel.

The program was put into place Aug. 1, 2015. Since its inception, “we haven’t had a single issue,” Sharp reports.

Hertel adds, “There are a lot of people utilizing the program …. We went into this as an alternative to incarceration.”

The judge reveals, “With the changes in legislation in July 2014, there was a real push to not send low level offenders to the (Indiana) Department of Corrections …. They may not need the IDOC, but they need more than probation. This gives us an alternative to probation with a lot more supervision ….

“Probation is just checking in with the officer. You have a standard set of conditions you follow. There are no restrictions of where you can be or who can be in your house …. There’s no curfew.”

In the home detention program, “persons have to follow a set schedule” which can include work. “They can attend one church service a week. They’re allowed to get groceries and are able to take care of household things so the children aren’t neglected …. (and) there are rules about who is allowed in the home. They’re tested regularly, and a field officer comes during the week.” Individuals also wear GPS anklets “that tell us where they are at all times. There is no way to fool the device.”