DECATUR – The Macon County Sheriff's Office is set to undertake a multifaceted program to engage mental health issues, juvenile detention and monitoring issues and illegal drug dependency counseling in the area.
Sheriff's Lt. Jonathan Butts said the program will provide the needed alternative for incarcerated adult offenders in the Macon County Jail, with the hope it will reduce the overall costs to operate the county’s facility and offer inpatient and outpatient counseling and approved treatment programs.
The sheriff’s office will oversee and administer multiple programs to provide necessary care and needed supervision, which would include immediate need for drug treatment, mental health treatment and for juveniles who are in more intense supervision, monitoring and accountability programs.
The cost of the program, up to $2.5 million, will be covered by a donation from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.
A full-time deputy will be assigned as a contact person and monitor of the program. The deputy's salary and benefits will be covered by the donation over a four-year period.
The design and budget of these programs are being developed, Butts said.
For juveniles, the sheriff’s office will work closely with the Macon County Probation Department, which handles juvenile cases.
While the current contract with Peoria County, which houses Macon County juveniles, does provide counseling, Probation Department director Patrick Berter said this would focus more on helping those in transition from detainment.
“A lot of those kids are not detained except for a night or two and when they come back they need services,” he said.
The plan still needs the approval of the county's Finance Committee and the full county board, both of which are expected to take up the plan this month.