Information from WYSH Radio
Anderson County is one step closer to having a full-time director for its Alternatives to Incarceration program.
Last week, the committee in charge of finding someone to head the department unanimously recommended hiring Clinton resident Mary Young to fill the position. She will be responsible for finding ways to reduce the jail population through programs that could include expanded use of electronic monitoring devices, “day reporting” (described as a way to have offenders work on community projects during the day while still sleeping in their own beds at night), and offering more classes like anger management to help offenders deal with some of the underlying issues that led to their arrests and subsequent incarcerations.
Young will operate out of the Anderson County jail and officials say that she has worked in a similar program in California. She is expected to begin work on February 2.
This will be the second attempt to develop a program to deal with overcrowding issues at the jail. In March 2013, Mike Baker, the program’s first director, resigned, saying that he was meeting with resistance from county officials and judges. But those same officials said that Baker did not seem to understand the issues specifically faced by Anderson County.
Since then, two expansions have created a jail capacity of 565 inmates, one of which—a minimum-security dormitory—is currently not being used because the newly opened 212-bed expansion has allowed inmates to be classified properly, one of the main concerns voiced by state officials, who last month removed the jail from its plan of corrective action.
Officials say that even with thousands of unserved warrants still pending, the expanded jail should take care of the county’s needs for the next decade or so.
As of this morning, 313 people were listed as being in custody on the jail website.
Information in this story brought to you through an agreement between Oak Ridge Today and WYSH. See more local news headlines on the WYSH website at http://www.wyshradio.com/local_news.html.