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Methodology for Community Corrections Dataset

Through a public records request, we obtained the Community Corrections Plans that are sent to the Alabama Department of Corrections, most often annually, for each county or group of counties operating a community corrections program. Each plan is intended to have basic information about a program’s operations, including its fee schedules. Because counties operate programs with substantial local autonomy and are relatively different, we used the plans as a way to construct a uniform database of their operations. We also used business registry information from the Alabama Secretary of State and directories from the Administrative Office of Courts to confirm information about program operations and directors. Additionally, we called the director of each program to verify information that was unclear in the Community Corrections Plan. Every call or email communication was documented and dated in a verification database, and any email interaction is saved for additional confirmation. Only Jackson County Community Corrections is omitted from our findings. Its director offered a “no comment” statement to our programmatic questions, so we were unable to verify its operations.

Data Columns and definitions

COUNTY - County or counties

YEAR - Year of CCP Plan provided by ADOC. This is determined by the most recent date on any document provided.

INCORP - Year CCP was incorporated

TYPE - 501(c)(3) or County Authority

DRUG TESTING - If drug testing is used as a way of supervision as determined by CCP Plan - TRUE/FALSE

DT COST - Cost determined by CCP Plan. According to an email from Carl Viars, ADOC’s Community Corrections Assistant Director, “This standard must be documented in their plan or procedures manual.”

DRUG TESTING FREQUENCY - If the plan mentions random testing or color code

ELECTRONIC MONITORING - If electronic monitoring is used as a way of supervision as determined by CCP Plan - TRUE/FALSE

EM COST - Cost determined by CCP Plan. According to Viars, “This standard must be documented in their plan or procedures manual.”

EM COST FREQ - Month/Week/Day

GENERAL SUPERVISION COST - As determined by CCP Plan. According Viars, “This standard must be documented in their plan or procedures manual.”

ARAS MENTIONED IN PLAN - If use of ARAS is mentioned - TRUE/FALSE

ARAS REPORTING REQUIREMENTS OUTLINED - If it is outlined per Community Corrections Offender Supervision Guide - TRUE/FALSE

SANCTION SCALE - If a sanction scale is listed in the plan- TRUE/FALSE

INCENTIVES - If incentives are mentioned at all in the plan - TRUE/FALSE

ESCAPE POLICY -If policy is in plan and escape is defined in plan - TRUE/FALSE - According Viars, “This standard must be documented in their plan or procedures manual. Our policy is that the plan or procedures manual must outline the process/procedures for determining when an offender is declared an escapee. Merely restating ADOC AR 490 is not sufficient.”

COUNTY FUNDING - Funding or in-kind services provided by the county as determined by CCP Plan or confirmation from directors - TRUE/FALSE

MH EVAL - Any reference of a DOC-approved mental health evaluation upon intake in CCP Plan - TRUE/FALSE

ADMH TX MENTIONED - If plan mentions referrals to ADMH certified treatment facilities OR if at least one certified facility is named - TRUE/FALSE

TX FACILITIES LISTED -If plan lists ANY facilities recommended or referred - TRUE/FALSE

WORK RELEASE - If work release is used as way of supervision determined by CCP Plan or director confirmation - TRUE/FALSE

SALARY PERC - Percent of salary acquired from work release participants as determined by CCP Plan or director confirmation. This does not include percentage of wages deducted to pay court debt.

MAX CAPACITY NOTED - Max capacity noted in plan relative to community supervision

LIMITS TO CAPACITY MENTIONED - If limits to capacity are listed - TRUE/FALSE

CRO - If CCP also operate a CRO program or with a CRO program as determined by their CCP Plan, contract/business filings or director confirmation - TRUE/FALSE

 

COUNTY CAVEATS AND CLARIFICATIONS

RUSSELL COUNTY 

  • $55 monthly supervision fee includes a drug screen 
  • Plan notes work release. However, survey with director, Sharon George, confirmed there is no work release program.

MORGAN COUNTY

  • CRO marked as FALSE. We asked director Kim Thurston: “Does your county Court Referral Office operate under the Community Corrections program? Is the entity a separate LLC or non-profit organization, and if so, why? She replied on 12/10/2018: “We held that [CRO]contract until July of this year. They canceled the contract and awarded it to another office in Decatur.”

WALKER COUNTY 

  • No definition for escape in plan, according to District Judge Henry Allred, who serves as the president of the board. He said in an interview that he believes there is nothing in the policies and procedures regarding escape; they just use the statutory definition of escape to determine when/if someone has escaped. Marked FALSE.
  • Allred confirmed that there is no wage deduction for work release/residential facility, only the rent charged to work release participants, on 5/28/2019.

ETOWAH COUNTY 

  • Fee confirmation from director, Dominique Bowman: “Our monthly supervision fee is $75.00, which includes all drug testing for the month. The electronic monitoring fee is $45.00 per week. Our bond supervision defendants pay $250.00 up front unless waived by a judge and then a $35.00 monthly supervision fee.”

ESCAMBIA COUNTY

  • Program now under the Sheriff’s Office. Director Matt Rabren confirmed plan remains implemented. 
  • Electronic monitoring is noted as “generally” $15/day plus $30 monthly supervision fee listed in plan. Rabren confirmed those fees and corrected that drug testing is $20 per test.

RANDOLPH COUNTY 

  • Drug testing is neither color code nor “random,” per email from Rebecca Farmer. “There is no color code with our program. Testing is ‘individualized’ in that anyone on the CRO program is tested by them, so we don’t overburden them with additional testing unless we think they are using [drugs] or additional testing is warranted. Otherwise, we randomly test our clients each month according to their ORAS Risk Level and Supervision needs.”
  • Rebecca Farmer also noted the program is not associated with CRO in her email.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY 

  • Maximum capacity is stated as: “as many as 500 offenders in the assorted programs” and a maximum of 200 for felony prison diversion. 

MADISON COUNTY 

  • Electronic Monitoring is broken down as the following, per email with director, Melissa Stiles: Land Line unit - $45 (land line phone connection), Cell unit - $55 (uses cell towers, monitors in and out times), GPS unit - $70 (monitors movement 24/7).

ST. CLAIR COUNTY 

  • Per email with director Harvey Bell: “Electronic Monitoring is an option of the court. However, in such cases CCP will provide information/refer to the defendant about private companies that provide the service. Therefore, there is no cost listed in plan. It should be noted that, to my knowledge, no offenders are currently required by the courts to be electronically monitored.”
  • Fee caveat, per email with Harvey Bell: “There are two payment options. Defendants that are not required by the courts to color code pay a supervision fee of $60. Defendants required to color code pay $100 monthly which includes all drug test/color code. In instances where a defendant doesn't pay ($100), they are required to pay $25 for each individual test.” 
  • For the caveat above, SPLC asked in what instances the second payment method occurs. Harvey Bell responded “In instances where they are non-compliant. Ex. "Not reporting as instructed."

JEFFERSON COUNTY 

  • TASC is a non-profit organization, and its community corrections plan notes that the program is a 501(c)3, but the program operates with University of Alabama Birmingham. The data is marked as a 501 with this caveat in mind. 
  • Director John Dantzer via email: “The program is fully funded by the Department of Corrections through a contract with the State. We have other programs that are funded by other entities such as Jefferson County or the Administrative Office of the Courts, but the Community Corrections program is supported via DOC funds.” 
  • The programs are separate, but CRO is operated under the overarching organization, so marked TRUE as associated.

DEKALB/CHEROKEE COUNTIES

  • Electronic Monitoring is available, but no fees associated. “Not applicable, we have several items in our plan that we can do, an example as day reporting and electronic monitoring, but this has never been implemented. It is available, but our Judges just hasn’t used them in conjunction with CCP,” according to an email from director, Stacey Neeley.
  • Neeley generally explained the fees in an email as, “Our CCP program has no fees, as you can see in our plan their supervision is transferred to the Drug Court, where they pay $150.00 each month. Everything is included in the $150.00 fee.” Therefore, the $150 fee is noted as the monthly fee.
  • The CCP plan only mentions that “Dekalb County Court Referral, Inc.” is a 501(c)(3). It does not mention Cherokee’s organization or the other organizations that are still operating in the county in association with the program.
  • CCP plan also notes, “All of our participants are monitored by the Drug Court in Track III, the Alternative Sentencing track.”

CHILTON COUNTY 

  • For electronic monitoring the county uses E-Hawk mobile app at no cost to the clients - confirmed 4/18 with director Cheryl Maddox 

MARION-WINSTON COUNTIES 

  • For electronic monitoring, “Difference in the Active/Passive units is how often it "calls" in to check the frequency of violations. Ex: 10 minutes vs. hourly. We use the passive units,” said Judie Osborn in email. Passive unit fee in documented in the data. 

GENEVA COUNTY 

  • $75 for all-inclusive monthly fees

HOUSTON COUNTY 

  • FEE CLARIFICATION. The plan notes: “All offenders pay a supervision fee of $25 per month plus a $15 fee for drug screens (if administered).” These are both once a month fees, according to director Tony Weber. No electronic monitoring, verified via Weber. 
  • Houston has a unique 3 Phase system, however it is not laid out based on ARAS scores, such as the supervision matrix.

COLBERT COUNTY 

  • Questions were answered by Candace Treece, a court referral officer, because there currently is no official director for this county corrections program.
  • Fees, according to a call with Treece - “If they’re low risk, they pay $25 once a month. It’s $25 per visit, usually twice a month, but the most charged is $50 a month, never more.” $25 is in the database but it is PER visit and not per month. 

DALE/PIKE/COFFEE/BARBOUR COUNTIES

  • Recently took in Barbour County. 
  • This program only does CRO for Dale County. Pike, Coffee or Barbour have separate CRO programs that are not associated with the program run by Cheryl Leatherwood. 
  • Offender fees are $100 a month – $65 for supervision and $35 for drug screens. 
  • Electronic Monitoring is E-Hawk app at no charge to the offender

4TH CIRCUIT 

  • This includes Bibb, Dallas, Hale, Perry and Wilcox Counties 

CALHOUN COUNTY 

Additional fee clarification confirmed as follows by director Bill Robinson:

  • Monthly supervision - $30 
  • Drug screen fee – one-way - $7
  • Two-way screen - $10
  • Five-way screen - $20 
  • Electronic monitoring - $5 for initial hook-up and $3 per day 

AUTAUGA/ELMORE COUNTIES 

  • According to director, Jennifer Smith, right now monthly supervision fees are only charged for non-billable participants.

17TH CIRCUIT 

  • Includes Sumter, Greene and Marengo Counties 

24TH CIRCUIT 

  • Includes Fayette, Lamar and PIckens Counties 

LAUDERDALE COUNTY

  • Caveat to note about maximum capacity, because CRO is part of this program. It notes 870 and for front end/institutional it says 120 for work release with “unlimited supervision.” In a call with director Daryl Williams, he confirmed work release only houses 120, but he said unlimited supervision because there’s not really a cap on how many they can supervise. He said current load outside work release is 60, but 120 is noted with this caveat in mind.
  • Drug testing in work release is RANDOM and supervision is COLOR CODE per, Williams. Marked COLOR CODE in database for general supervision. 

TUSCALOOSA COUNTY 

FEE CLARIFICATIONS via phone call with director, Derrick Bell: 

  • $60 monthly supervision for CCP; previously was $70

SHELBY COUNTY 

  • Shelby County’s Community Corrections portion is residential only. 
  • Fee clarification in email from director, Julius Cook:
  • Monthly supervision fee is 40 percent of gross income (per local statute)
  • Drug screen fee and frequency (i.e. color code, etc.) is $15 per test, twice per week. Frequency marked as SCHEDULED
  • Electronic Monitoring fee: N/A.
  • CRO is under the overarching organization.

CLAY COUNTY 

  • Clay County is a new program that has not submitted a sent to DOC. SPLC asked director, Henry Lambert, what would be a part of their program, and the database entries represent those responses.
  • Electronic Monitoring is marked FALSE, though Lambert said he was looking into it.

DATA SET

Download the data set here.

Return to the Opportunity Costs: Unequal Justice in Alabamas' Community Corrections Programs landing page