Cambria County corrections program opens with solid support of local correctional system

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BI Incorporated and Cambria County hosted an open house at the new Day Reporting Center (DRC) in Ebensburg, PA on May 11. The innovative program opens on May 21 and is designed to keep nonviolent offenders from breaking the law again while saving money by freeing up jail beds, according to officials who spoke at the open house.

The event was a great success, with almost 75 individuals attending, including Cambria County President Judge Timothy Creany, Warden John Prebish, officials from county probation, the district’s attorney office and several county commissioners. About 20 probationers will report to the center when it opens; this count will grow to 100 probationers later this year.

Judge Creany said the county prison averaged 50,000 recidivism days annually by offenders, costing the county more than $2.5 million. Cambria County funded the DRC as a cost-effective alternative to detention. BI provides treatment and case management services at this location for offenders at risk of failing probation.Probationers go to the DRC for up to 180 days for treatment and training proven to reduce recidivism.  BI closely monitors the behavior of individuals referred to the Cambria County DRC with daily check-ins, drug and alcohol testing, and case management. Participants receive the ongoing treatment needed to help break cycles of criminal behavior. Classes include:

  • Adult Basic Education and GED prep resources and referrals
  • Life skills classes
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy classes
  • Employment readiness and career development
  • Licensed drug and alcohol treatment

Cambria County modeled the DRC after successful programs operated by BI in Franklin and Luzerne counties. These programs have reduced recidivism and jail crowding.  Individuals referred to the program are reentering the community after incarceration or are sentenced offenders directed to the program in lieu of incarceration.

The open house drew several media outlets. See more coverage at the Tribune Democrat, Altoona Mirror, and WTAJ TV.

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