Jail can be a tough place filled with some tough people, but some people are just on the wrong path and need some help. An expansion of the Boone County Justice Center aims to do just that.

“We’re focusing our entire project on rehabilitation,” says Boone County Commissioner Jeff Wolfe.

That project is a physical expansion of the Justice Center and logistical expansion of two important programs – the Community Corrections Program and the Probation Department. The goal to hire more staff, make operations more efficient, and better use the taxpayer’s money. That means focusing on people who don’t necessarily need to be behind bars, but still need some help solving the problems that put them in handcuffs in the first place.

Commissioner Wolfe explains, “you know they make mistakes, they serve their time, but let’s help them with those issues that have placed them there in the first place. Whether it be anger or a need for counseling, or sometimes it’s substance abuse. But we can help them with those things while they’re there.”

Wolfe says there’s a giant effort on addressing mental health issues and finding the resources necessary to make sure people are better than they were going into jail. Of course, there’s also the reality that expanding the operations of both departments just makes the county operate more smoothly.

The end goal remains the same for both Commissioner Wolfe, the county sheriff, and everyone involved: put these people on the right path. Wolfe says three men who were in jail, went through the Community Corrections Program, and came out on the other side, were all doing much better.

That’s including one man who was finally able to reunite with his kids.

“Those are success stories you can’t measure,” says Wolfe, “you know, a father being able to return to their kids and the kids being able to return to a productive time in their lives. I don’t know what’s any better than that.”

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