County discussing possibility of closing jail's work release pro - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

County discussing possibility of closing jail's work release program

Posted:

Eau Claire County (WQOW) - A tighter budget has Eau Claire County giving the Huber Center a hard look.  The Huber Center is the county's work release program within the jail.  

Eau Claire County could decide to end its work release program for inmates within the county jail.

"In a tight budget climate, the county board takes a look at all its major cost centers, and right now it costs about a million dollars a year for the Huber program," says Eau Claire County Board Chair Gregg Moore.

A group of county judges, the district attorney, jail staff, the department of corrections and others who work closely with the jail are taking a look at if the county could better spend that money.

"Every year the county board includes in its budget some study areas to look specifically at certain areas of operations, and this year the Huber program, the work release facility, was one of the areas the county board selected to target," Moore says.

That group is discussing four options: closing the Huber Center, revamping it to make it more efficient, moving it into the new jail, or leaving it as it is. La Crosse County faced a similar situation several years ago, and decided to close its facility.

"The Huber Center is one of the prongs within the whole criminal justice system. We try to use a multi-pronged approach, we try to transition people from the jail, instead of just sitting in secure they're allowed to be in the Huber Center, they can go out on a daily basis to go to school, go do childcare, go to treatment programming, go to their jobs," says Eau Claire County Jail Captain Joel Brettingen.  

A few years ago, the county started an evidence-based decision making program.  The goal is to combat an overcrowded jail population by reducing the rate of repeat offenders.

"We've been molding everything around that, so to take that prong away would be a step back," Captain Brettingen says.

Right now there are 55 inmates in the Huber Center.  About 75-percent of them have work.  Those who don't have to pay $5 a day to sit in Huber. A recommendation of what to do with Huber will be made in July to the county board.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Decorah Eagle Cam

    Decorah Eagle Cam

    The Eagle Cam is back!  Watch live as eagles build their nest and family!More >>
    The Decorah eagles became international stars in 2011, when their nest went viral. To date, over 280 million people from 84 countries have followed the eagle family from eggs to fledgling birds, watching every aspect of life in a wild nest.More >>
  • Motorcycle hit-and-run leaves one injured

    Motorcycle hit-and-run leaves one injured

    Motorcycle hit-and-run leaves one injured

    Pierce Co. Sheriff (Press Release) - On Saturday, April 19, the Pierce County Sheriff's office was notified of a motorcycle crash involving two motorcycles in the township of Trenton. The location was County Road VV, half a mile south of Hwy. 35 in Hager City. A motorcycle driven by Benjamin Bremer, 26, of Red Wing, was attempting to enter County Road VV from the Border Lounge parking lot. A second motorcycle described as a maroon in color hit Benjamin's motorcycle and fled the scene. Benjami...More >>
    Pierce Co. Sheriff (Press Release) - On Saturday, April 19, the Pierce County Sheriff's office was notified of a motorcycle crash involving two motorcycles in the township of Trenton. The location was County Road VV, half a mile south of Hwy. 35 in Hager City. A motorcycle driven by Benjamin Bremer, 26, of Red Wing, was attempting to enter County Road VV from the Border Lounge parking lot. A second motorcycle described as a maroon in color hit Benjamin's motorcycle and fled the scene. Benjami...More >>
  • Eau Claire business moves out after 50 years in downtown

    Eau Claire business moves out after 50 years in downtown

    Eau Claire (WQOW) - The final tenant has moved out of a set of buildings set for demolition to make room for the proposed Confluence Project. After more than 50 years in downtown Eau Claire ScandinavianMore >>
    The final tenant has moved out of a set of buildings set for demolition to make room for the proposed Confluence Project.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WQOW. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's pubic inspection file should contact Director of Station Operations Lisa Patrow at 715-852-5920. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.