MAHONING COUNTY Officials retain CCA to oversee probations

The private company does the work at half the cost of a county-run department, officials say.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Mahoning County commissioners voted Tuesday to retain Community Corrections Association as the county's probation department.
It's the final year of a three-year agreement that started in 2000. CCA will be paid $37,110.
At the end of the year, commissioners will confer with common pleas court judges and the Corrections Planning Board before deciding whether to continue with CCA or make a change, said county Administrator Gary Kubic.
Administrative Judge James E. Evans of common pleas court said he doesn't expect there to be a problem with keeping CCA on board, though the final decision is up to commissioners.
Praise: "They run probably one of the tightest ships you can for a county placement facility," Judge Evans said. "I don't see any problem with them."
CCA has served as the county's probation department for some 12 years, providing background checks on criminal defendants before they are sentenced, said Dr. Richard J. Billak, chief executive officer. The company also supervises people placed on probation by the courts.
Kubic said the contract is a bargain because CCA does the work for about half what it would cost the county to set up and run its own probation department.
He said commissioners are the contracting agency for the service, though they generally defer to a recommendation from the judges and corrections planning board.

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