Pa. County Sees Lower Recidivism Rate With DRC
(03/10/2011)

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. The Franklin County Day Reporting Center has heled the county achieve a reduced recidivism rate, according to a study commissioned by county officials.

Commissioned by the Franklin County Criminal Justice Advisory Board, the three-year study found that offenders referred to the center had an 18.2 percent rate of recidivism.

The study was conducted by Michael S. Gordon and James L. Jengeleski of Shippensburg University and funded by a grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

Shippenburg and Jengeleski reviewed 326 adult probationers who successfully completed the DRC program between Dec. 16, 2006 and June 1, 2009 and 299 inmates released to probation from the Franklin County Jail in 2004.

Before the DRC was implemented the jails average daily population was 376 inmates. Within months of referring probationers to the DRC, the jail count dropped, according to reports. The population currently numbers at an average of 366 inmates.

The county generated $910,000 in revenue in 2010 by leasing its extra jail capacity to other jurisdictions.

Franklin County DRC Director Kimberly Eaton said the results support previous reports that show the DRC saves the county money, reduces criminal activity and helps reduce overcrowding.

"The DRC has provided the judicial system with an alternative to incarceration that includes treatment not found anywhere else in the county," Eaton says.

The DRC was opened to reduce chronic jail overcrowding, costs and criminal activity in the area. The center requires frequent check-ins, drug testing, case management, cognitive behavioral treatment and classes designed to reduce criminal risk.

Franklin County recently received a best practices award from the National Association of Counties and an award from the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania for reducing its jail population and implementing the DRC program.

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