Winona County will be instituting a new unit designed to help keep non-violent, low risk offenders out of jail while they await court appearances after the County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the program.
Winona County Attorney Karin Sonneman says the Community Stabilization Integration (CSI) program would intervene in lesser criminal cases and provide pre-trial services for clients that would otherwise remain in jail.
Sonneman says the CSI program would be under the supervision of Community Services, who are better equipped to deal with some of the underlying issues like mental health and substance abuse.
It's expected the CSI program will save the county money by reducing jail costs, costs related to housing inmates out of the county, and accessibility of the individual to their employment and family. Currently the county pays $55 a day to house some inmates in other county jails.
The next step is hiring a CSI Unit Program Manager and a Pre-Trial Services Coordinator.
Funding for the positions is included in the 2013 Community Services Department budget. Additional revenues from the MNChoices program will also be available later this year.