Racine County Alternative and Diversion programs consist of several different components:
- AODA In-Jail and aftercare programs for adults
- Community Service Program & Inmate Worker Program
- Day Reporting Center
- Children First Employment Program (CF)
- Home Detention Program
- Employment Services Program
- Intensive Supervision Program
- Pre-Trial Risk Assessment Program
Racine County Alternative and Diversion programs fall into a category known as “Alternatives to Incarceration” or (ATI). ATI are pre-trial alternatives to jail for adult defendants who can be supervised or detained in a non-jail environment. Court Commissioners and/or Circuit Court Judges determine who will participate; they order defendants directly into the program and specify the activities to be monitored through the conditions listed in their bonds.
The Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) Program, unique to Racine County, consists of two distinct components. The In-Jail Component, averaging 30 days of intensive treatment, is located in a separate section of the Racine County Jail. The program holds up to 22 inmates, male and female. After successful completion, program participants are released through a court ordered stay of sentence, a condition of probation or through the lifting of a probation hold to the nine-month After-Care component located outside the Racine County Jail.
Community Service Program & Inmate Worker Program – The Racine County Jail incorporates Wisconsin Statute 973.03(3) to create two programs: The Inmate Worker Program, where inmates complete work inside the jail and the Community Service Program, where inmates complete work outside the jail. Many inmates are eligible to receive credit toward their jail time and state statutes define who is eligible for jail credit. Eligible inmates receive one day of jail reduction for every 24 hours of work performed. Many inmates are not eligible for jail credit, but choose to volunteer.
- Inmate Worker Program: Inmates volunteer their services for routine jail duties, which include working in the kitchen or laundry, delivering meals inside the jail, mending jail uniforms, painting, and working as floor/hall cleaners for a total number of 112,100 hours of service in 2014. In addition, inmate workers also provide laundry and food services for the Racine County Juvenile Detention Center and Racine County SAIL program. They also provide laundry services for HALO, which pays a nominal fee to the Racine County Jail.
- Community Service Program: Inmates volunteer for service for public and non-profit agencies such as Racine County Ridgewood Health Center, Catholic Cemeteries, Toys for Tots, VFW of Racine, Veterans of Racine, Greek Festival, Racine County Fair, Racine’s Reefpoint Marina, Racine area Parks and the American Legion to name a few. These workers provide services for Racine County such as mowing lawns of foreclosed properties; removing snow around the Court House, Sheriff’s Office, and Monument Square; picking up garbage; and cleaning at the Workforce Development Center and Racine County Fair. They also clean and paint around the Racine County Marina. Workers provide services for non-profits such as painting, mowing, working on construction crews, cleaning and repairing monuments, and remodeling historical sites. They provided 78,141 hours of service in 2014.
Day Reporting Center (DRC), which began in May of 2001, is a structured program for sentenced offenders, and allows inmates who meet the eligibility criteria to be placed into Home Detention. The DRC is designed to transition inmates from the jail setting to the community. Examples of allowable activities are: Job search, employment, medical, and counseling. The Community Compliance Deputy conducts regular home visits and returns noncompliant participants to the Racine County Jail. Since all participants are jail inmates, each day in DRC equals one jail bed day saved.
Children First Employment Program (CF), a State of Wisconsin initiative, assists and monitors individuals who have child support arrears to obtain and maintain employment so they can support their children and pay their financial responsibilities. The jail component, unique to Racine County, was added in 1999 and enhances services through the Racine County Workforce Development Center and assists inmates serving commitments for failure to pay child support/arrears. The Children First Program inmates paid $41,048.13 towards their child support in 2014.
Employment Services Program – The program was added in July of 2003 and allows inmates in the Racine County Jail to access employment support. Inmates granted Huber Law Privileges may request help to obtain employment so that they may be transferred to the Huber dorm or to the Day Reporting Center. The program provides staff with tools in the jail to assist with job search skills, job retention skills, and finding employment. In 2014, the program provided quality services to 231 inmates. These inmates obtained 75 jobs averaging $8.58 per hour.
Intensive Supervision Program – The Intensive Supervision Program (ISP), which began in August of 2000, is designed to supervise pre-trial defendants with multiple operating while intoxicated (OWI) offenses. Courts (through its commissioners) order all OWI defendants with two or more OWIs into the program as part of their bond conditions regardless of their residency. Defendants participate in the program from the time of the initial hearing through adjudication.
Pretrial Risk Assessment Program – The Pretrial Risk Assessment Program, which began in 2005, is a pretrial screening process that includes screening each fresh arrest that remains in jail and preparing a report on the finding prior to the person’s initial court hearing. The program utilizes the pretrial risk screening scale that Racine County developed to focus on two types of risk: (a) failure to appear in court (FTA) and (b) risk of re-offending while in the pretrial status.
Program staff interview pretrial defendants daily prior to their initial hearing and then verify the information, collect collateral information, create a report and submit it to the Commissioner, District Attorney’s Office and Defense Counsel. The Commissioner uses the report along with other information to make bond decisions. Defendants are tracked after their release for failure to appear and for new charges. In addition, pretrial staff provides case management services to those released by contacting defendants of their scheduled court hearings to reduce FTAs and recidivism rates. Program staff interviewed 1684 inmates in 2014.
Racine County, through the Human Services Division, facilitate the AODA in-jail and aftercare programs for adults and employment service programs for incarcerated adults.
Racine County Sheriff's Office staff currently facilitate all Community Service work throughout the county, manage the Inmate Worker program, and are in the process of re-structuring the Day Reporting Program.