Grant helps local prisoner re-entry program
LEWISTOWN – Year three of a state grant program designed to allow the Mifflin County Correctional Facility, along with several partnering agencies, to provide re-entry services to all inmates in the prison, was approved Thursday by the Mifflin County Commissioners.
Lisa Stalnaker, grant writer in the county human services department, said the grant, including matching funds and services, totals $132,948, and will be used for inmate risk assessment, education, psychiatric services, drug and alcohol counseling and mental health case management services, among others.
Stalnaker said this is the third year of the program.
During the program’s second year, Stalnaker said 205 risk assessments were performed, 117 inmates received drug and alcohol counseling, 114 inmates received psychiatric services, 78 inmates participated in education related classes through the TIU/CareerLink, 31 inmates received mental health case management, three inmates participated in re-entry housing through Shelter Services, and 35 inmates participated in the 21st Century Knights Educational Program.
“This program is unique to most facilities,” Stalnaker stated. “The program began with the prison but has expanded to include a community-based location so inmates released in the community could continue to participate in addition to others who are interested.”
Stalnaker said the program is strictly voluntary and, “just last week, the program was expanded to a community-based location in Juniata County and a request has been received to start one in Snyder County.”
Stalnaker said matching funds for the grant are coming from employee time, supplies and travel already being contributed, along with funds from the Juniata Valley Behavioral Health Program, Clear Concepts Counseling and Shelter Services Inc.
In other business, following a short public hearing, the commissioners approved a modification to the 2011 Community Development Block Grant Program to divert $20,000 from a proposed water main project in Newton Hamilton to a sewer lining project in Juniata Terrace.
James Lettiere, community development administrator, recommended the modification after he was told Newton Hamilton’s request for a $400,000 state grant for its project was turned down.
In other action Thursday, the commissioners:
Approved a purchase of service agreement for use, if needed, by Children & Youth, with National Mentor Healthcare of Broomall, Pa.
Approved a user agreement for 2013 with Burnham United Methodist Church to be used as a polling place.
Approved the renewal of an agreement with the Central Counties Youth Detention Center for 2013 at a cost of $175,512, which will be paid quarterly.
Approved a $2,000 offer for a parcel located in Granville Township that is currently in the repository for unsold properties.
Approved a $1,000 offer for a parcel located in Granville Township that is currently in the repository for unsold properties.
Approved a $500 offer for a parcel located in Lewistown Borough that is currently in the repository for unsold properties.
Approved the transfer of Kim Napier from the planning office to the treasurer’s office effective March 11.
Approved the resignation of Bo Trawitz as a probation officer effective March 22.
Approved the hiring of Samantha Wolfley as a probation officer effective April 1.