October 31, 2014

Arenac board approves corrections advisory board members

By Matt Keeton
Staff Writer | reporter@ogemawherald.com
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STANDISH — The Arenac County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the appointment of six individuals to serve on the Arenac Ogemaw Community Corrections Advisory Board at their Jan. 18 meeting.

The AOCCAB is tasked with development of community corrections programs, such as the community service and tethering programs.

Appointments to the board include circuit court Judge Ronald Bergeron, probate and district court Judge Richard Vollbach, Pat Baker of Bay-Arenac Community Mental Health, Arenac County Assistant Prosecutor Melissa Sprague, Arenac County citizen Nancy Hill and Arenac County Commissioner Jeff Trombley.

Arenac County Board of Commissioners Chairman Michael Snyder said everyone selected for the AOCCAB has some sort of involvement with the jail or courts in Arenac County.

“In one way or another, they’re all involved with the facilities and the prisoners,” Snyder said.

Sgt. Mike Badour, the Arenac County Jail administrator, said each member of the board was selected in order to meet state criteria to receive Public Act 511 funding, which provides funds for community corrections programs throughout Michigan. He said the commissioners can now vote to submit an application to the state for funds.

“It was a criteria we had to meet,” Badour said. “The next step for the county commissioners will be approving the submission of the application of P.A. 511 funds.”

Badour said the corrections advisory board will oversee programs such as in-jail substance abuse and cognitive self-change classes, which help teach inmates identify thoughts and feelings which lead to criminal behavior, community service and tethering programs, and the Sheriff’s work crew.

Badour added that the corrections advisory board will be working to develop a General Education Development program, which is something that he said has not been offered through the jail in around a decade.

“I think if we got one inmate to leave the jail with a GED, the program will be worth it,” Badour said.

Badour said that if the commissioners approve the submittal of a P.A. 511 funding application at their Feb. 1 meeting, it will be brought before the State Administrative Board to be signed Feb. 15.

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