The Pulaski County Council is considering funding to keep the county’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative going for another year.
Circuit Court Judge Mary Welker recently told council members that the program is now in its fifth year, and it’s been very successful. The problem is that, going forward, the state will only pay for programming and supplies, not coordination costs. “They assume that by now, you would have seen the value in it and would be paying for it,” Welker explained.
That means the county will have to come up with other ways to pay Dr. Natalie Daily-Federer for her duties as the contracted JDAI coordinator. Judge Welker said the hope is that the cost could be covered by a family treatment court grant when that program gets up and running next year. In the meantime, she’s come up with a plan to use $15,000 in unused juvenile probation user’s fee revenues. “She is willing to do that program and oversee those programs for $15,000, just because she doesn’t want to see it end before we can get it rolled into family court,” Welker said.
Superior Court Judge Crystal Brucker Kocher added that Federer will have brought in a total of almost a million dollars in grant funding to the county by the end of the year, and that the state has been actively trying to hire her away from the county. The county council agreed to advertise the $15,000 additional appropriation request for further consideration, along with another $500 additional appropriation request for the Pulaski County Drug Free Council.