Douglas County’s criminal justice coordinator says Community Corrections oversight change improves efficiency, good for employees

Douglas County’s criminal justice coordinator told county commissioners Wednesday that returning Community Corrections back to their oversight would create a more streamlined organizational structure, give the department’s employees a pay hike and provide more flexibility for staff training.

In a presentation to commissioners, Robert Bieniecki, Douglas County criminal justice coordinator, proposed that the commission take over Community Corrections oversight from the Douglas County District Court at the start of 2018. Douglas County is the only county in the state in which the county commission doesn’t directly oversee community corrections, he said. A past county commission approved a home rule resolution that transferred oversight to the district court subsequent to a 1989 state law mandating all counties have community corrections departments, he said.

Bieniecki said all 10 Community Corrections employees support the transfer, and it had the unanimous endorsement of the Community Corrections Advisory Board. Douglas County Chief Judge Peggy Kittel and Linda Koester-Vogelsang, administrative clerk of the district court, were out of town and unable to attend the work session.

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