Good trend on jail numbers continuing

At Wednesday’s Sedgwick County Commission meeting, County Manager William Buchanan summarized the many measures the county has taken to better manage the jail population and avoid another expansion of the facility, including what he rightly called the “amazing statistic” that 92 percent of those who graduated from drug court committed no new crimes in the six months afterward. The average daily jail population was 1,374 in November, down from 1,496 in November 2011 and 1,700 a few years ago. Buchanan had a valuable caution for the future, though. “We’re very concerned about the reduction in the state funds for the prevention programs,” he said, noting the county has seen those funds cut from more than $1 million a year to $200,000 last year. The state is “not paying attention to the front end of the system, and that’s going to catch up to us,” Buchanan said.