The Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) community work crew program at the Delta Correctional Center contributed, by one estimate, almost $286,000 in direct services to governments and non-profits in Delta County during 2011 alone.
Including all of the work done during 2011 for other agencies in the county and those beyond the county line, the DOC's work crew program benefits totalled 141,319 manhours, and they contributed a local economic value of about $1 million.
But even state programs that provide such clear benefits as the local DOC work crews do are under budget scrutiny by the Legislature.
The Board of County Commissioners on March 19 endorsed letters to the area's state delegation backing the program and its many benefits to the county and its citizens.
According to an accounting provided to the county, the $286,000 figure for work contributed by crews from the Delta facility during 2011 includes just the tasks performed for Delta County governments and organizations. That list includes the county, each of the municipalities, Cedaredge Pioneer Town, Delta County School District 50, Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado, Delta County Library District, the county fairgrounds and others.
Other organizations besides local governments that benefit by the work crew program include the Delta Correctional Center facility itself from the inmate work performed on its own facility, BLM and U.S. Forest Service, CDOT, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association, and governments and organizations in Mesa, Montrose, and Ouray counties.
The dollar value of the work crew program is based on minimum wage of $7.22, according to the accounting provided to the county. The work crew members receive sixty cents a day.
In their support letter to state elected officials, the Delta County Commissioners also recognized the value of the work crew program to the DOC's own mission of rehabilitation and re-intergration of individuals into productive social roles.
"The board preceives the arrangement between public entities and the DOC work crews to be a win-win situation, not only for the public entities served, but also for the inmates themselves," the commissioners wrote.
"Inmates receive the value of having physical work to fill their days while incarcerated, the value of making a difference for a community, and the satisfction of seeing a job get done. Those values most certainly contribute to an inmate's successful and healthy rehabilitation and eventual re-entry into a community," the letter stated.
The Delta Correctional Center's productive relationship with the local community is a two-way street. Local businesses, individuals, churches, and organizations over the years have contributed suncounted value in goods and services to the Delta Correctional Center and its programs, including social support and ministeral guidance for inmates housed there.
According to the DOC, the facility opened in 1964. There are 480 offenders housed at the facility which employs a total staff of 138.blog comments powered by Disqus