Control: Housing & Community Development Committee
File Name: THE TASC IN-JAIL TREATMENT PROGRAM
Agenda Item Number:
PRESENTATION BY PEOPLE ACTING FOR COMMUNITY TOGETHER, INC. RE: DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES FY 2010-11 BUDGET PRIORITIES AND THE TASC IN-JAIL TREATMENT PROGRAM
Audrey M. Edmonson, Prime Sponsor
Housing & Community Development Committee
Ms. Charlotte Jaheem (phonetic), representing People Acting for Community Together, Inc., (PACT) appeared before the Committee and provided a brief historical overview of the in-jail Treatment Alternatives to Street Crimes, Inc. (TASC) Program. She advised that PACT held its Community Action Assembly event on March 22, 2010, and noted, although each member of the County Commission was invited, Commissioners Martinez and Sorenson provided reasons for not attending. Ms. Jaheem (phonetic) noted 850 constituents attended and felt disappointed that their commissioners did not feel this event was important enough to attend. She addressed the issue of drug-related arrests and the impact of the TASC Program on the inmate recidivism rate. Ms. Jaheed asked the County Commission to restore the funding level for in-jail drug treatment for FY 2010-11 to its previous level, which would provide treatment for 400 inmates. She also asked that the County track the recidivism rates for all In-Jail Treatment graduates.
In response to Ms. Jaheem’s (phonetic) comment regarding commissioners not responding or attending the PACT event, Chairwoman Edmonson explained that commissioners send their staff to events when they are unable to attend due to a prior commitment. She expressed her support of the program and noted her staff attended the event; adding that one of her main concerns was reducing crime within District 3.
In response to Commissioner Jordan’s inquiry regarding whether funding for the TASC Program was completely eliminated from the budget, Ms. Irene Taylor-Wooten, Assistant to the County Manager, stated the entire TASC component was eliminated. She clarified that TASC Programs at the Metro-West and the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Facilities were eliminated.
Commissioner Jordan expressed her concern that the Department was not tracking TASC participants and noted she felt the purpose of tracking was to track those individuals who were re-arrested.
Ms. Taylor-Wooten noted Commissioner Jordan’s concern and advised her that staff was looking into the TASC Program graduates recidivism rate issue.
In response to Commissioner Jordan’s concern regarding tracking, Ms. Phyllis Saunders, Human Services Department Director, explained that the Department did not track for re-arrests, even in the case of substance abuse. She stated this was due mainly to the lack of sufficient staff to perform this task.
Commissioner Jordan asked Human Services Department Director to initiate efforts to track the recidivism rate for inmates participating in the Treatment Alternatives to Street Crime (TASC) Program and to begin gathering data to demonstrate the effectiveness of the program to use as justification for additional funding. She expressed her support of the TASC Program and noted she was willing to sponsor legislation presented by Ms. Jaheed (phonetic).
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