Board approves addition to jail transition staff

By Brooks Taylor, Mt. Pleasant News


Another employee will be added to the staff of the regional transitional jail diversion program.

Sarah Berndt, who heads the program in addition to her duties as county coordinator of disability services/general assistance director, had her request to add staff to the program approved Thursday by Henry County supervisors.

The fairly new program is shared by several area counties with Henry County serving as the fiscal agent and employer of program employees. Currently, the program has two coordinators who visit employees in the jails of participating counties in an attempt to help them transition back into society.

Berndt told the supervisors several weeks ago that she would like to add another coordinator to help with housing for inmates upon their release from jail.

?We have a huge issue with housing,? Berndt stated. ?We need a person who can find housing for inmates who can?t enter traditional rental housing.?

Supervisors also approved a one-year renewal with Carosh of Center Point, Ind. The county will pay $7,750 to the firm which assists the county with meeting HIPPA mandates and regulations.

Berndt said she felt it was important to maintain the relationship, especially with the county public health program likely returning under the umbrella of the county. ?If public health returns to the county, we have to continue with Carosh because we will have a lot more exposure with public health.?

Supervisor Greg Moeller asked Berndt if she thought the county?s annual fee to Carosh would increase with the addition of public health. Berndt replied that she didn?t foresee that happening.

Supervisors interviewed three candidates ? Marla Willey, Susan Eiken and Mindy Fitzgibbon ? Thursday afternoon for the county recorder position.

Shirley Wandling, current recorder, has submitted her resignation effective at the end of the day Nov. 2. Supervisors will announce their choice for new recorder and administer the oath of office Friday, Nov. 3, at 8 a.m. to the successful candidate.

The board?s next meeting is Tuesday, Oct. 31, at 9 a.m. in the courthouse.