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Kandiyohi County Board passes resolution supporting more state funding for community supervision services

Community supervision covers probation, supervised release and pre-trial services and is provided in Kandiyohi County by the Community Corrections department.

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The director of Kandiyohi County Community Corrections, Tami Jo Lieberg, asked the county board on Jan. 3 to approve a resolution urging state lawmakers to increase funding to community supervision which operates programs such as probation and pretrial services.
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WILLMAR — Tami Jo Lieberg, Kandiyohi County Community Corrections director, is continuing her crusade to bring more state funding to community supervision which is responsible for probation, supervised release and pre-trial services in the county.

"We supervise all different kinds of offenses from shoplifting all the way to murder and high-risk sex offenders," Lieberg said at the Jan. 3 County Board meeting. "It is a critical component of public safety. It is often confused, and the funding is even more confusing."

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Kandiyohi County Community Corrections Director Tami Jo Lieberg
West Central Tribune file photo

Lieberg requested the County Board approve a resolution that urges the state Legislature to pass a new funding formula for community supervision — along with a significant appropriation for the program — during the 2023 session. Lieberg said she has been working on trying to get increased funding and a new formula with no success for several years.

"Maybe we can make it happen this year," said Commissioner Corky Berg.

When the state decided that community supervision was better operated through a state-county partnership, the state said it would provide significant funding to the counties for operating those services. However, as costs have risen, the state allocation has not.

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"In the last 20 years, they have not fulfilled that obligation," Lieberg said.

The Association of Minnesota Counties formed the Community Supervision Work Group, which brought together representatives from the American Probation and Parole Association, Minnesota Department of Corrections, county community corrections and the Minnesota Association of Community Corrections Act Counties. The group worked on possible legislation that would update the current funding formula and bring a larger allocation of funding.

The legislation's goal was "to develop a funding formula that is equitable, transparent and crosses all the way across the state," Lieberg said.

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To show legislators in St. Paul how big of an issue this is across the state, the Association of Minnesota Counties is looking for all 87 county boards to pass a resolution supporting the work group's efforts. The resolution states the state's failure to adequately fund community supervision has increased the local property tax burdens on county residents and businesses.

"A resolution by all 87 counties is a message to our legislators that they can no longer ignore this critical aspect of Minnesota's public safety system and must do their job by passing a new formula and accompanying funding," Lieberg said.

The Kandiyohi County Board unanimously approved the resolution at the Jan. 3 meeting.

"It would do a lot to help our county and all the other counties in the state," said Commissioner Duane Anderson.

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Shelby Lindrud is a reporter with the West Central Tribune of Willmar. Her focus areas are arts and entertainment, agriculture, features writing and the Kandiyohi County Board.

She can be reached via email slindrud@wctrib.com or direct 320-214-4373.


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