Welcome to the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
The pay-for-stay™ program at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio was discussed during Wednesday’s meeting and board members are seriously considering taking their business elsewhere.
CCNO is currently under a three-year contract with Intellitech which implements its pay-for-stay™ jail fee program that expires in July 2012. At issue with board members is the high percentage rate of jail fees that Intellitech keeps for its services to collect. Under the contract -- in which revenues started being collected in November 2009 -- CCNO is entitled to 70 percent of any jail reimbursement funds collected while the inmate remains incarcerated to include a $100 booking fee. But once released, collection revenues are reduced with CCNO only getting 30 percent while Intellitech maintains 70 percent. An Intellitech representative told board members that the higher revenue is needed to cover staff and legal costs as well as deal with poor creditors. CCNO officials are giving serious consideration to switching the jail fee collection business to the Ohio Attorney General’s office that would only charge up to 10 percent to the debtor. It was noted that collecting jail fees would be a new venture for the attorney general’s office in comparison to Intellitech that has a 10-year job history.
All revenues collected are returned to participating CCNO jurisdictions to offset their costs.
After a lengthy discussion, CCNO officials were asked to meet with representatives of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to obtain more detailed information on the jail collection process if done at the state level. At the same time, the Intellitech representative said his company might consider adjusting the percentage rate to make its jail fee collection program more attractive to officials.
Jim Dennis, CCNO Executive Director, said since the pay-for-stay™ program was implemented; about 85 percent of those offenders incarcerated come to CCNO with no money. CCNO books an average of 8,000 people per year and has a per diem rate of $63.72. He said the low revenues generated by the pay-for-stay™ reimbursement program could partially be due to the economy. He added that a small percentage of inmates are declared indigent by the court and not obligated to pay jail fees.
CCNO officials discussed providing electronic monitoring services to Van Wert County. Officials in Van Wert County expressed an interest in CCNO taking over and expanding its electronic monitoring program. CCNO officials will also see if there is any interest with officials from Paulding and Putnam counties. CCNO would implement fees in exchange for overseeing the specialized program.
Mr. Dennis reported that Wednesday’s population stood at 525 or 82 percent. He said the inmate population has dropped the past two weeks, allowing the closing of a 60-bed unit. The population averaged 556 or 87 percent in March.
In other business, bids will be sought to purchase a new transportation bus to replace an older vehicle. Approved was an estimate of $20,812.50 from J. Hancock & Son out of West Unity to remove and replace an existing driveway with new concrete on the south side of the facility. Six special response team members were authorized to attend a mock prison riot for training purposes in West Virginia near the Ohio River. Board members also authorized the purchase of a replacement vehicle for the electronic monitoring program at an estimated cost of $16,700. Seven new corrections officers were recently hired and are in the midst of completing training. Another four will be hired in June to fill vacancies.
Mr. Dennis said a Defiance College student recently conducted a recidivism study at CCNO finding that if an offender attended no programs, there is a 71 percent chance the inmate would likely return to CCNO within three years. That figure was reduced to 60 percent for those attending the New Beginnings substance abuse program; 54 percent for those attending AA meetings; 52 percent for those attending a faith-based life skills program; and 51 percent for those earning a GED. The lowest rate was 45.5 percent for those participating in the community public works program which officials noted conducts an intense screening process.
Members met in executive session for 12 minutes to discuss union negotiations. No action was taken following the meeting.
This site was updated on February 26, 2013