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These offenders save tax dollars



Published: Thu, May 3, 2012 @ 12:01 a.m.

photo

Travis Csuti , 35, of Youngstown, a participant in the day-reporting work program of the Mahoning County Sheriff ’s Office, removes paint and staples from the side of a barn at the Canfield Fairgrounds. He was among five day-reporting offenders scraping and painting horse barns there Wednesday.

By PETER H. MILLIKEN

milliken@vindy.com

CANFIELD

One group of sentenced offenders isn’t sitting in jail watching television on the taxpayers’ dime.

This group consists of participants in the day-reporting program who perform numerous community-service projects, including collecting items for recycling, litter pickup, grass cutting, landscaping and sometimes graffiti removal.

The day-reporting workers are sentenced to the program by Mahoning County’s municipal and county court judges.

“Depending upon the circumstances of the underlying offense, we do take advantage of the day-reporting program, particularly in light of the fact that we have such an overcrowded situation with the county jail,” said Judge Scott Hunter of Mahoning County Area Court in Canfield.

“Unfortunately, we’re placed in a predicament where we have to prioritize” and reserve costly jail beds for those who need to be incarcerated, such as the more-violent offenders, he said.

Housing inmates in the jail costs taxpayers about $80 a day per inmate.

“There’s productivity ... and the community benefits,” Judge Hunter said of the day-reporting program, which has operated here since April 2006 and now has 199 sentenced participants.

The community saves about $360,000 annually by keeping day-reporting offenders out of jail and having them provide free community service, sheriff’s office officials said.

The day workers report each morning from their homes to the county minimum-security jail building in downtown Youngstown, which is not currently used as an overnight facility, but is used as a staging area for the work program.

From there, deputies transport them to various work sites, where they perform free labor, and back to downtown Youngstown at the end of their workday.

On Wednesday, five of the day-reporting workers were scraping and painting horse barns at the Canfield Fairgrounds under the supervision of Deputy Dave Moss.

“It’s basically geared to save the tax dollars,” Moss said of the program.

One of the day-reporting workers, Travis Csuti, 35, of Youngstown, was sentenced to 30 workdays in the program by Judge Hunter after he pleaded no contest to a domestic-violence charge. The judge found him guilty.

“I like the community-service aspect of it. We actually get to clean up the community,” Csuti said. “It gives us the opportunity to work off our sentences instead of sitting in a jail cell and costing taxpayers more money.”

For his first domestic-violence offense, Judge Hunter also sentenced Csuti to a year’s probation and fined him $760, including court and day-reporting costs. Csuti said he also voluntarily attended anger-management sessions for several months.

“I’d like to utilize them at least a day or two every week, if possible,” Bev Fisher, fair manager, said of the day-reporting workers.

If the fair board had to hire a painting contractor to scrape and paint the two horse barns, the cost would be about $2,000, Fisher estimated.

The day-reporting workers also pick up recyclable items, such as cardboard and bottles and cans after fairgrounds events, she added.


Comments

1doowoptokidrock(325 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Put the rest of the garbage on chain gang groups and clean up deserted properties . If anybody tries to escape shoot to kill.We all know they are allergic to work so make jail time mean something not a place to learn new crimes.

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2VINDYAK(1799 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

We all know our prison systems no longer work to re-hab inmates. Many of those in prison are too dangerous to be out on the street doing work detail, but it does provide an interesting option - population control of inmates gone bad.

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3downtown238(3 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

These offenders are not concerned about saving the honest hardworking taxpayers money!

They are probably plotting and planning their
next crime and could care less about their victims let alone lowering the tax bill.

When they read this story they will just have a
good laugh at the taxpayer's expense!

Also... what quality of job will they provide?
Its not like they are trained professionals.

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4oldsouthhighwarrior(23 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

this is good. they should take people on welfare that are able to do some work send them to the southside and help clean up. give back to youngstown, while your getting all the free stuff that the goverment gives. 5 to 10 hours a week would make a differnence. wishfull thinking huh.

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5klpsupermom(1 comment)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

I think there should be more programs like this. Beyond popular belief, many inmates are people who made mistakes. Excessive jail time will not change them and neither will societies attitude towards them. Jails and prisons cost taxpayers millions. This is a good alternative to that. Hate + hate= hate. This will never change behavior!

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6thebeesknees(13 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Fantastic start! Now we the taxpayers should have a voice in what projects to prioritize in our communities. If the convicted resides in my community, I want work done in my community. The earlier poster is correct with the diminished level of service provided, but keep the work focused mainly on manual labor such as landscaping digging or deconstruction work. And no...if you are working for free for a reduced sentence, you will not be insured against "injuries" while on the job.

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7gingerspice(115 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Seems like a good program. What took officials so long to initiate it? Why can't those that will be living in the new, subsidized WEST LAKE TERRACE Housing be made to put in sweat hours! Everyone receiving assistance isn't always looking for a handout. Encouraging people to invest(help build/beautify) their residence give some pride in taking care of their property. Not all, some. There will always be those that do and those that don't!

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8iBuck(225 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

This is the kind of thing that people, neighbors, just used to do on their own, or church groups, or Boy Scouts would do as organizations.

The values systems have been all perverted. Many today don't believe it's worthwhile unless the guberment is forcing people, the "everything not mandatory is forbidden" mind-set, extorting people's earnings and wealth to use in various ways the guberment bosses desire rather than wise exercising individual judgement and generosity. Charities are dicouraged due to risks of law-suits, or because they're not "politically correct" in some way. And still, there are genuine crime problems -- people initiating force and fraud -- while phony-baloney "crimes" are vigorously prosecuted.

It's very frustrating.

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9semick(15 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

I think the program is great. The punishment should fit the crime. Sitting a non violent offender in jail is a waste of my taxes and my time. Giving people a task to work on also builds self esteem and self worth.
As for welfare, it seems like a great number of people in the Youngstown area are preoccupied with hate for those on welfare. I have a good job and earn what I get, and I have no envy or hate of those on welfare. They get very little and can't stay on it for a long time. It is not a glamorous life at all. I think there is a lot of misinformation and incorrect assumptions about those on welfare so a lot of you who are unhappy want to blame your own problems on the welfare recipients.
I travel a lot, and it is when I am in the most economically depressed areas like Youngstown and Cleveland that I hear the most complaints about those on welfare, and yet your towns are the ones that benefit the most from it. I just think where the economies are depressed people all like to blame each other instead of the proper source(s) of the problem.

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10Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Bring back the the Road / Chain gang
It still works in parts of the south.

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11paulydel(1318 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

This is an exellent program. These guys are out there working off their time and giving them a sense of accomplisment. I used to work at a correctional facility and those guys that worked would not put up with the crap of the guys that sat around all day doing nothing. They even got out and got jobs and stayed on the straight and narrow.

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12silentowner(4 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

@ Semick, Since when is domestic violence a Non-Violent crime? This guy Csuti was convicted of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE! That's a notch below murder and rape in my book. Anyone who would abuse his own family should be thrown in the pokey and get a taste of his own medicine!

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13jordanb(12 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

"Csuti said he also voluntarily attended anger-management sessions for several months."
I think this quote negates your theory, LosersNeverWin.

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14silentowner(4 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

@ LosersNeverWin
Had YOUR brain been in gear you would have read Judge Scott Hunter of Mahoning County Area Court in CANFIELD found this man guilty of Domestic VIOLENCE. This precludes your YPD theory.
2nd, I counsel victims of domestic VIOLENCE and happened to be in court that very day. So yeah Smart A** I do know something. Where do you think my FOOT is now?

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