COMMUNITY JUSTICE OFFICE DISSOLVED

April 10, 2001 11:00 pm

GOLD BEACH The end of the Curry County Community Justice Department came quietly last week, in contrast to its controversial creation three years ago.

The county commissioners voted unanimously to dissolve the department, effective July 1. No one spoke for or against the order.

The department dated back to 1998, when then-commissioners Bill Roberts and Lloyd Olds created it by merging the Community Corrections Department and the Juvenile Department.

Then-commissioner T.V. Skinner voted against the merger. The combination of the departments sparked angry protests from judges and other members of the law enforcement community.

Community Corrections Director Grant Nelson resigned, and the commissioners named Juvenile Director Ron Mathis to head the new department.

Mathis was terminated by the current commissioners at the end of January.

Under the reorganization, the Juvenile Department will once again stand on its own, under new director Jeff Hancock.

The adult parole and probation division and work center will be a department under the authority of Sheriff Kent Owens. The parks division will also be under the sheriff.

The drug and alcohol treatment program will be integrated into that of the Human Services Department. The changes followed the recommendations of the Local Public Safety Coordinating Council, which represents most law enforcement entities in Curry County.