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County steps in to plug state funding gap for probation services

State budget reductions have affected Sedgwick County Community Corrections’ intensive probation services for felony offenders, its director told commissioners this morning.

Commissioners voted to move $316,608 from the day reporting center contract to adult intensive supervision to get the program through the rest of state  fiscal year 2010, which ends June 30.

Director Mark Masterson said that state budget cuts “resulted in too high caseholds, service reductions, less face-to-face time with clients . . . increases in jail and prison admissions and recidivism.”

The state reduced the budget for the program — mandated by the state — by 12.2 percent. At the same time, the number of clients grew 6.75 percent. Further affecting the program, Masterson said, is unemployment as it is taking longer for participants to find jobs. They pay fees to the county to participate in the program.

Commissioner Tim Norton said the program was in a “perfect storm” situation.

Commissioners voted unanimously to transfer the money. Norton noted that the money is only a stopgap and further budget adjustments likely will be needed.