Metro Corrections plans to designate more resources toward monit - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Metro Corrections plans to designate more resources toward monitoring high-risk HIP inmates

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Everyone on the HIP program is currently monitored 24 hours a day on the GPS system. Everyone on the HIP program is currently monitored 24 hours a day on the GPS system.
Metro Corrections Assistant Director Steve Durham Metro Corrections Assistant Director Steve Durham

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville’s jail leaders want to spend more time and resources monitoring high-risk offenders on the Home Incarceration Program.

Currently, all inmates on HIP are treated the same, despite the type of charges. So someone charged with murder will be monitored the same as someone charged with burglary.

Metro Corrections Assistant Director Steve Durham said everyone is currently monitored 24 hours a day on the GPS system. The inmates are supposed to check in with HIP corrections officers once a week, and the inmates must also follow a schedule of where they’re allowed to be, including home, work, school or the doctor’s office.

“We have the ability to set up a zone, a movement zone,” Durham said. “And if the person going outside that movement zone, an alarm is sent.”

But the city’s HIP work group, which is a part of the Jail Policy Committee Meeting, said it is time to change how the system works and create a new HIP plan. Durham said this group is “shifting the look at how we use resources.”

In the draft of the new plan, all HIP inmates would still be monitored with GPS tracking devices. However, low-risk inmates would need to check in with HIP officers every two weeks over the phone, and high-risk offenders would be required weekly face-to-face meetings with HIP officers and random monthly field checks.

“We have over 700 individuals on home incarceration,” Durham said. “So we want to spend that time and energy that might be more on the high level of risk.”

Jail leaders said making these changes will allow the handful of HIP officers to better monitor the right inmates to protect the public.

“There are 29 individuals that are in the home incarceration division that are taking part in supervising offenders,” Durham said.

However, Tracy Dotson, the president of the Metro Corrections Fraternal Order of Police, said those officers are given other office duties first, which gives them little time to actually monitor inmates.

“On a good day, there is one car per shift out on the streets,” Dotson said.

Another topic under discussion amidst the HIP changes includes appropriate types of punishments for violating terms of HIP.

“So if the violation is they were supposed to go directly to work and not stop anywhere, and they stopped at McDonald’s to get a hamburger, what should be the response?” Durham said.

Durham said the work group is considering different levels of warnings and disciplinary action based on the type of violation. However, he said if someone commits another crime while on HIP, it is the law that person must return to jail.

These HIP changes are still in draft mode. Jail leaders need to figure out how to designate an inmate as low, moderate or high risk by making an official risk assessment test before moving forward.

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