COUNTY'S JUSTICE DEPARTMENT MAY BE DISSOLVED

February 09, 2001 11:00 pm

GOLD BEACH The Curry County Community Justice Department put together by former commissioners Bill Roberts and Lloyd Olds may be disassembled, said Commissioner Marlyn Schafer Friday.

Schafer told Commissioners Lucie La Bont and Cheryl Thorp at Fridays afternoons budget work session that she had met with the judges and law enforcement officials that morning.

Everyone there agreed that the juvenile division needs to be a stand-alone department again, she said.

While the combined concept works in big cities, she said, there arent enough layers of resources for it to work in Curry County.

Schafer also said Community Justice had its own drug and alcohol treatment programs. Since the Human Services Department already provides those services too, it will handle all the treatment programs.

What remains of Community Justice, such as probation officers and the work center, will be put under the sheriffs office.

The sheriff was named the interim supervisor of the department when former director Ron Mathis was terminated at the end of January. Schafer said the proposal will be reviewed by the Local Public Safety Coordinating Council at 3 p.m. Feb. 26.

Law enforcement officials there will be the ones most affected by the change, so they should be the ones to fine-tune the proposal, she said. The council is then expected to write a letter of recommendations to the commissioners.

Schafer said Sheriff Kent Owens will remain the interim supervisor through the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

The changes to the department will be factored into the budget of the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The council will also have to review the Oregon Department of Corrections audit of Community Justice and write an answer.