The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department is pursuing funding to launch a work release center. Sheriff Jeff Richwine told the county council this week that Natalie Federer, who serves as coordinator of the county’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, is willing to help with grant applications.
“She’s done some grant writing for Judge Shurn with the JDAI and would like to write a grant for us to get this 1006 funding that would help if we get the work release center done, to help with programming,” Richwine said. “They won’t do any capital improvements, but what they will do is fund employees, fund training, fund schooling, fund programs.”
Since Federer isn’t allowed to write grants for the Sheriff’s Department as part of her work with the court system, council members agreed to let Richwine use money out of the commissary fund to hire her as an independent contractor. He said the cost should be less than $1,000.
Richwine told council members that while he hasn’t necessarily bought in to these types of programs in the past, he recognizes that the county has to try something different. “If you don’t think the drug issue has hit Pulaski County, you haven’t been paying any attention because it has,” he said. “We’re just right behind the number one county, as far as overdose death . . . based on population. But there’s programming we should be getting in this county that we don’t get.”
Richwine said that while the overall numbers may be smaller than larger counties’, the impact may be greater, since Pulaski County doesn’t have as many resources.