Kandiyohi County is having good success with a community service program for adult and juvenile criminal offenders.
During 2007, the Kandiyohi County community service program completed more than 81,000 hours of work -- the adult offenders completing 75,525 hours of work and the juvenile offenders program completing 5,881 hours of work.
The community service workers provide the county the equivalent of $488,436 in labor. This is a significant savings to the county's budget.
In addition, the community service program completeds a number of valuable jobs: repairing picnic tables, picnic shelters and fire rings at county parks; cleaning and repair at the county's fairgrounds, picking up recycling, clearing winter snow from fire hydrants and growing garden produce for the local food shelf.
Another advantage of the program for the county and offenders is that the community service helps reduce the time served -- eliminating one day for each day worked in community service. This community service reduces the jail time for the offender and in turn reduces the related jail costs for the county.
This program is a win-win for offenders and the county. We commend the Kandiyohi County Board and its officials involved in the community service program.