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09/14/2014: "Pay to Play: $25 for Jail, Guilty or Not"

Filed under: Indiana, Local (NW IN) News, Substance Abuse, Uncategorized -- kurtglmft
Tags: Addiction, commissioners, dependency, Indiana, Porter County, State board of accounts, Tammy White

All things considered, paying $25 when jailed is about the least of your worries, but should one still pay, even if innocent? Apparently if your arrested in Porter County the answer is a definite "yes", even though the State Board of Accounts found the fee to be um, well, illegal. However;

Tammy White, a State Board of Accounts supervisor, said her agency's reports serve to audit compliance with state laws and regulations but are not legally binding. The Board provides information regarding laws in the hope officials will consult legal counsel and review the appropriateness of findings.

The commissioners who passed the ordinance justify it by explaining;

"The entire fund is used for the benefit of the jail, and most directly the inmates themselves," Lain said. "That's how we pay for the Chemical Addiction and Dependency Program."

Lain said the drug program has a large effect on the number of inmates who return to jail after being released. According to Lain, graduates of the 100-hour class have a recidivism rate of between 40 percent and 45 percent, compared to the typical recidivism rate at the jail of 65 percent to 70 percent.

"The biggest issue we have is how do we keep people from coming back," Lain said. "This has shown to be the single most powerful avenue toward reducing that."

Sounds like someone is massaging their numbers a bit. Any Chemical Addiction program that reduces recidivism to 45% is worthy not only of national acclaim, but patenting and copyrighting. Sell it and make your money that way. Something tells the us that won't happen soon. Second, the reasoning sounds a little circular here. They charge people who come to the jail, guilty or not, for a program that supposedly seeks to stop people from coming to the jail? Maybe it is just my math, but if successful, won't Porter County run out of money for the program?

Those issues aside, doesn't the whole innocent until proven guilty thing come into play? Doesn't that mean you treat, as well as think of a person, as not having done anything until proven otherwise? Now we aren't lawyers, but who would dream of charging someone a fee who hasn't done anything?

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