County saves over $3 million with reentry programs

Lycoming County has paid $3,440,505 to the GEO Group for reentry and electronic monitoring services, said John Stahl, deputy adult probation officer, to the prison board Friday morning.

To date, it has saved $3,522,820.

That’s $82,315 less than what would have been spent without the reentry and electronic monitoring programs in place, Stahl said.

“In the day of evidence-based practices, those are real figures,” he said. “We’re $82,315 in the right direction.”

As of May 2, there are 85 people in reentry, he said. There are 312 program graduates thus far with the most recent graduation having been held last month. September’s graduation ceremony will double as a 5th anniversary celebration.

“We look nothing like we did in September of 2014,” he said, with respect to programming and number of participants. “I’m proud of that.”

The programming will evolve further in the near future, said Michael Boughten, reentry program manager. A residential facility in California that has developed more programming for females, and GEO are looking to add those programs to its services here, he said.

“We’re in the process of getting our training department around so we can implement that here within our facility,” he said. “That’s something we’ve talked a lot about, due to the recent female population.”

The prison system’s female population continues to cause overcrowding transfers, with April’s population averaging 31 at the prison and 27 at the Pre-Release Center, said Warden Brad Shoemaker. There were four females housed out-of-county over the month.

The total population for April, including those transfers, was 346 — down from 363 in March but up from 338 in April 2018. Year-to-date average is 357, the same as the average for the year of 2018, Shoemaker said.

The next meeting is slated for 8:30 a.m. June 14 in the prison.