The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

April 29, 2014

Jail diversion program on the horizon

OTTUMWA — A jail diversion program soon will have roots in Wapello County.

Tuesday, the Wapello County Board of Supervisors approved a contract with Jessica Peckover of Johnson County to begin consulting with Wapello County on behalf of the South Central Behavioral Region to develop and implement a jail diversion program. Peckover is Johnson County’s jail alternatives coordinator.

Jail diversion refers to programs that divert individuals with serious mental illness and often co-occurring substance use disorders away from jail while providing linkages to community-based treatment and support services.

The individual thus avoids arrest or spends a significantly reduced time period in jail and/or lockups on the current charge or on violations of probation resulting from previous charges.

As part of the contract, Wapello County, on behalf of South Central Behavioral Region, will reimburse Johnson County for Peckover’s hourly wage of $38.72. The county will also provide her an office at the Law Enforcement Center.

Johnson was in Wapello County on Tuesday meeting with various group stakeholders. It’s the county's intent to hopefully have a jail diversion program up and running by July 1.

In other business, the board:

• Approved budget amendments increases of $6,000 to the Board of Supervisors, $36,000 to the county attorney’s office, $53,072 to the sheriff’s office, $135,000 to the secondary roads department, $30,000 to the county conservations department, $4,965 to AGHC, $100,800 to building and land management and $54,116 to the nondepartmental budget.

• Approved an amended agreement with the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department and Wapello County.

• OK’d moving Joyce Ware from Clerk I to Clerk II position in the county treasurer’s office. She will be paid $13.72 an hour.

• Approved of promoting Jason Fuller to assistant jail administrator in the Wapello County Sheriff’s office and hiring Greg O’Brien as a new Wapello County sheriff’s deputy.

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