(07/16/2013)
The Calhoun Sheriffs Department has launched a pilot program as an alternative to jail time, according to Chief Deputy J. D. Smith.

The alternative sentencing program, which requires offenders to devote labor to community projects and public facilities , has already involved eight individuals and has added up to 160 hours on projects, including the Calhoun Park, courthouse, Town of Grantsville and water plant, and is being extended to southern Calhoun when supervisors are made available.

Smith said government agencies and non-profit groups who can provide a supervisor are eligible for the program.

Non-performers are pulled from the program and referred back to the court.

"Certainly individuals eligible for the program are people who have committed victimless or non-violent crimes," Smith said.

Smith said some of the individuals had special skills beyond maintenance, such as carpentry, "which worked out really well at the County Park."

Calhoun commissioners expressed their appreciation for the program, since the regional jail bill is reaching an all-time high of about $20,000 a month.

The commission was advised that the county has few liability issues with the project.

Smith concluded, "So far the program is working out well."


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