JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. -- The Jackson County Commission says they're continuing to evaluate the county's corrections program, but this time from a financial standpoint. The program allows non-violent offenders to serve their sentences at home instead of in a facility.
"It helps with the overcrowding in the prisons. They get to spend their time at home. The get to work and stay at home and they must follow the rules," Commissioner Mike Ashburn said.
Jackson County Community Punishment and Corrections is a non-profit organization that currently runs the system. Prisoners utilizing the program are contracted with the county's corrections system and 10 percent of their earnings are given to the commission.
"The commission had some differences of opinion as to the correct amount that was to be paid to the county on work release," Ashburn said. "Currently we're getting 10 percent and some of the commission felt like 25 percent is what we should be getting."
According to Brandon Brown, director of the corrections program, he says that the commission has always received 10 percent and there's not a contract with a set amount between the non-profit and the commission.
The commission has decided to bring in a second opinion. "They have motioned forward to get an attorney general's opinion to see what the correct amount is," Ashburn said. "Sometimes it takes months. The attorney general's office is pretty busy with a lot of other affairs throughout the state so it could be a few months."
Brown says they've complied so far with everything the commission has asked for and will wait for the AG's opinion. In previous meetings, the commission has spoken about the county possibly taking over the program, but Ashburn says there is still a lot of research to be done.