Sedgwick County to trim adult residential program

Sedgwick County commissioners this morning approved eliminating 23 positions from the corrections department’s adult residential program, which provides an alternative to prison for felons who meet certain criteria.

Public safety director Bob Lamkey explained to commissioners this morning that budget constraints forced the cuts.

The adult residential program is state-funded and was established in 1983. There has been level state funding for the program since 1990, about $1.2 million a year, which supported 75 felons in the program.

The county kicked in money to serve 45 more people in 2005, Lamkey said. The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council recommended doing so to ease the waiting list for the program.

Lamkey today recommended reducing annual county funding for the program by $800,000 and reducing the number of people eligible for the program to 65. The county would honor the current waiting list and plea agreements under the plan, Lamkey said.

As part of the plan, the county will eliminate 23 positions. Some people might qualify for other county jobs or early retirement. The county expects to announce an early retirement program in the next two weeks, as The Eagle reported Monday.

Some people could be laid off, Lamkey said.