County Board Accepts $450,000 Grant for Jail Job Center
August 14, 2015
Chair Sharon Corrigan - 608-333-2285
Federal Funds Will Establish “Windows to Work” Program, Assisting Inmates’ Transition to the Community
The Dane County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to accept a grant to establish the Dane County Jail Based American Job Center.
The grant, which was awarded to the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin from the United States Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, will allow the Dane County Sheriff’s Office to hire two full-time social worker and a half-time administrator. The social workers will function as career coaches within the jail, helping inmates prepare for the workforce and continuing to assist them after release.
“Recidivism is a serious issue,” said Supervisor Paul Rusk, chair of the County Board’s Public Protection and Judiciary Committee. “The last thing we want to see is someone released from jail, only to come back. We genuinely want people to leave jail ready to become productive members of the community, and frankly that’s what most inmates want as well. Funding that helps people prepare to find jobs, enter the workforce and stay in the workforce is money well spent.”
The grant takes effect September 1.
In other business, the Board voted to hire a second Comprehensive Community Services (CCS) intake social worker. CCS is a new Medicaid-funded program which will allow the county to expand individualized, community based mental health and substance abuse rehabilitation services. This new program certification opens new resources for the county to address needs in the community, including identified unmet need among our homeless population.
The approved intake social worker position will help to match potential clients with the appropriate community-based services. Dane County was certified as a CCS provider on July 1; already more than 15 agencies and 180 community professionals have applied to be CCS providers and are receiving 20 – 40 hours of required CCS training. Sup. Jenni Dye said, "We have been hearing from community members and from our homeless services providers that there is significant unmet need for more mental health and substance abuse rehabilitation support. Bringing the CCS program online and making sure we have enough intake staff in place will help us to meet anticipated demand for these community-based services."