Community corrections gets $10K for security
Rodney Hollandsworth, administrator of Garfield County Community Corrections, says his program has been taking on “riskier individuals,” prompting him to upgrade security at the Rifle facility.
Garfield County commissioners this week approved an additional $10,000 to help the program improve security after a recent threat on one of the program’s officers.
Commissioners unanimously approved Hollandsworth’s request for the money, which would in part go toward new card readers at the facility.
On Saturday the Post Independent reported on a felon staying at a Rifle hotel who was arrested after he reportedly made threats against a community corrections officer, and he was found in criminal possession of a loaded handgun and three loaded clips.
The 35-year-old man showed another man recently released from community corrections the weapon and ammunition, went on a rant and said he was going to “go after” the community corrections officer, who had written him up in the past.
Hollandsworth told commissioners that the community corrections program recently seems to be taking on more serious offenders than in the past. It’s becoming imperative to limit the people who can get in and get out of the facility, he said.
The program oversees “court-ordered community service through supervised work crews or through assigned community service placement,” the county website says, among other programs.
Overall “Level of Service Inventory” scores, used to classify offenders in terms of risk, have been higher for inmates than ever before, he said. “So we are taking riskier individuals than in the past.” He called this the “nature of the beast,” saying that the atmosphere in community corrections has changed. The level of cooperation isn’t what it used to be between inmates and those supervising them, he said.
Part of the problem is the idea that people need to arm themselves for protection, and that includes felons who don’t mind breaking the rules. The community corrections program has seen several incidents of that nature, he told commissioners.
This is a trend that Hollandsworth said he’s seen over the last 10 years, with inmates becoming “more surly, more demanding.”
Additionally the recidivism rate has been high. Felony filings are going up; violent crimes are increasing, he said.
Hollandsworth also saw this as a symptom of overcrowding in state prison, after several state prisons have been shut down in Colorado.
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