In 2005, the jail population in Sedgwick County, Kansas, was 22 percent above capacity and inmates housed in other counties cost the county $4 million annually. Pretrial defendants occupied 62 percent of the jail beds. Rather than simply adding beds, the county convened a Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, which recommended opening a Day Reporting Center. Since 2006, BI has operated the county DRC as part of its comprehensive plan to reduce jail overcrowding and incorporate evidence-based alternatives to detention.
The Sedgwick County DRC has become a trusted source for local courts, helping to significantly reduce criminogenic risk among participants. Offenders go through a multi-phase approach that includes regular reporting to the center, intensive treatment and training, and ongoing testing for drug and alcohol use. In 2011, data showed a 58 percent reduction in arrests among program graduates. Additionally, 48 percent of graduates have no arrests two years after program completion.
“BI has provided a valuable and productive resource for the management of the offender population in Sedgwick County,” said Sedgwick County Commissioner Dave Unruh. “The Sedgwick County Commission is pleased with this alternative to detention both as a population management tool and also as a system to reduce recidivism. My observation is that the graduates from the program are truly grateful for a new opportunity to reorder their lives as productive members of our community.”