WARSAW — Barry Andrew has been offered the position of executive director of Kosciusko County Community Corrections.
The offer was made at a public meeting held by the Kosciusko County Community Corrections Advisory Board Monday, Jan. 13, at the Kosciusko Justice Building immediately following an executive session.
Andrew, who served as the original Community Corrections director before leaving in April 2016, has been serving as interim director following the departure of former executive director Anna Bailey in November.
On Dec. 12, representatives with Community Corrections announced no new participants would enter into the department’s electronic monitoring program for at least 30 days while officials assessed operations within the department.
Five days later, court documents were made available detailing alleged improper activities between Bailey, her former assistant Taylor Pagan and Steven Gasaway, an offender who was being monitored through the program.
The investigation started internally after several KCCC employees contacted law enforcement regarding the alleged improper activities.
Andrew, a native of Warsaw, is currently the director of the Kosciusko County Drug and Alcohol program. He has served in that position since August 2003.
There are job openings currently posted for a full-time home detention officer and a full-time administrative assistant on the Kosciusko County government website.
The executive director position is fulltime, and the salary amount offered to Andrew for the position is $70,380, subject to approval.
Reed pointed out that the offer is only a recommendation from the board and would require approval from Kosciusko Commissioners. After extending the offer, Reed said he did not expect an immediate answer from Andrew but said if Andrew accepts the position, the recommendation will then be presented to the commissioners for their approval.
“Barry has done a good job, the staff has done a good job of getting through this,” Judge Michael Reed said. “He’s back up and running with some consistency and some objective of criteria for taking people. The (previous) records were quite slovenly kept and haphazard.”
Andrew said that during the 30-day operations suspension, the department was able to restructure their admission process and “bring it up to par, where it should have been.”
He said they were also able to implement a new process regarding the tracking system.
“One of the saddest things I ran across in the last 45 days or so is that the staff there were not allowed to do their job that they were hired to do,” Andrew said. “So it’s been neat to be able to empower the team up there to do their job.”
Andrew said one of the new responsibilities is that when a new participant enters the department with their home detention packet, that participant will be assigned to a specific officer and that officer will be responsible to follow that packet from start to finish.
“We’ve been working diligently to bring consistency to the participants — that’s one thing that was lacking, to the staff, to the program. I think we’ve done a good job,” Andrew said.
Andrew provided a financial update showing that the user fee carryover from 2018 was $740,889.11. Added to the 2019 user fees of $591,950.57, that totaled $1,332,839.68. The department spent $218,420.40, leaving a 2019 year-end balance of $1,114,419.28.
There are currently 90 adult participants on home detention and no juvenile participants. There are 20 current drug court participants.
“As far as the successful and unsuccessful (participants), those numbers were ran the best I could with the current information I have in our tracking system,” Andrew said, referencing 2019 participants.
He said there appears to have been 109 participants in 2019 who completed the program successfully, while 21 were unsuccessful.
Andrew said he was unable to provide specifics regarding the unsuccessful participants as they were not documented correctly.
“Clearly, moving forward, I think the details on this will be managed much, much better,” Andrew said. “We’ll be able to provide much clearer, much more specific information to the board come March.”
Jon Garber questioned how “successful” and “unsuccessful” are defined, as it relates to participants in the program.
“If they fail to complete the program, they get new criminal charges, they are put back in jail for whatever that reason may be and they’re taken off the home detention program, that’s unsuccessful,” Andrew said. “If you complete what you’re supposed to do, complete your treatment, complete whatever regulations or requirements were laid out for your time in the program, then that’s considered successful.”
Officials are confident the program will rebound.
“When we opened the doors back up after the first of the year, it wasn’t a matter of hours before I had three phone calls from attorneys and we’ve probably had 75 applications turned in,” Andrew said. “So there’s not going to be lack of business for the program, but I will tell the board now that we don’t have enough staff to accommodate the fast-rising numbers that we’ve already seen.”
Andrew said he anticipates that a waiting list will need to be created to accommodate the numbers the program will have.
“We’ve had an onslaught and I don’t think the program is going to lack for numbers, but that will be something that has to be addressed fairly quickly,” Andrew said.
Reed will continue to serve as chairman during 2020. Attorney Antony Garza will continue to serve as vice-chairman during 2020. Kara Shively will serve as a temporary secretary until it is determined if obtaining an administrative assistant is a possibility. If so, that person could then serve as secretary.
Kosciusko County Community Corrections Advisory Board has scheduled three additional public meetings. Those meetings will take place at 5 p.m. at the Kosciusko County Justice Building, in the multi-purpose room (in the basement), 121 N. Lake St., Warsaw, on the following days:
•April 13, 2020
•July 13, 2020
•Oct. 12, 2020