LOGAN — Michelle Akers, director of Southwestern Regional Day Report, provided the Logan County Commission (LCC) with an update of the multi-county system at their Feb. 8 meeting.
“We have 140 people that are considered day report clients in Logan County. In addition to that, though, we drug screen for anybody that is in the court system at all like family court, child abuse and neglect or anyone that has a hearing with a judge. In addition to those 140, there are probably 140 to 300 on top of that,” commented Akers.
Akers also noted the staff at Southwestern Regional Day Report is among the most qualified in the state and added they work hard to help end the cycle of drug abuse in the area.
Akers explained the Logan County Commission acts as the “fiscal agent” for the Southwestern Regional Day Report administering funds for Logan, Mingo, Boone and Lincoln Counties.
Akers later explained the day report system was initially ran by the state; however, responsibility for program was later left to individual counties.
The Logan, Boone, Mingo and Lincoln county commissions entered into an agreement where Logan County would act as the fiscal agent for the group of counties; however, each county contributes equal parts of the funding needed to match state grants.
“Because you all generously agreed to handle our grants funds for us,…there will be bills from Mingo County, Lincoln County and Boone County…and they do show up on your register. Every dollar is accounted for in that grant,” noted Akers.
Logan County Administrator Rocky Adkins later added, while Logan County is the fiscal agent for four counties’ day report systems, each county has a high degree of autonomy in how they use their funds.
Akers commented that each client in the day report system is also fed breakfast and lunch everyday, and repeated purchases at grocery stores throughout the coalfields regularly appear on the check register for the LCC.
These are types of programs that courts all over the country are working for like alternative sentencing. I think it’s safe to say that, basically, the bottom line is, you are taking a tremendous burden off of the tax payers in this county with these kinds of programs,” commented commissioner Danny Ellis.
President of the LCC Danny Godby related the parable of having 99 sheep in the fold and still searching for the one lost sheep saying, “You’re saving money, but the most important thing is that you’re saving lives in there. One life means a lot.”
Owen Wells is a reporter for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1729 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org