Montrose felons could have new community program

By: Brian Shlonsky Email
By: Brian Shlonsky Email

Non- violent felony offenders in Montrose may soon have an alternative sentencing program to keep them closer to home.

Right now, criminals in the community corrections program are being sent to other facilities around the state as far away as Denver, but after the work release building in Montrose was recently closed because it wasn't cost effective, the space opened up for the community corrections program.

Officials said keeping the offenders close to home will help them integrate back into normal society after prison and keep them near their families.

"Establish some family ties that were maybe a little weak, maybe that was the reasons they got in trouble, then they also can take family therapy as well, they'll go through programs like empowering dads, and that will also strengthen their family ties," board coordinator Stephanie Tolen said.

"Here you have to work. You have to come in, you have to be willing to work. You come in and participate in the program," chair of the board Dee Laird said.

Criminals in the program will receive treatment and have educational opportunities, like earning a GED and learning computer and interviewing skills.

The county commissioners are expected to approve the lease on Monday and then renovations can begin after February. Officials said they hope to have the program up and running in May.

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