Mar 18, 2015 8:14 PM by Charlene Cheng
The Tehama County Day Reporting Center serves parolees and probationers daily.
There are no bars or cells, and offenders are expected to check themselves in every morning.
"I wake up early and I go to bed early now. Before I didn't have a bedtime, I didn't have any programming this way," said Jimmy Hames, a participant in the program.
With AB 109, there's not enough room in the county jail for all the convicted felons.
Hames, who was sentenced on drug possession charges, only served a portion of his sentence.
"What the state did was roll those people back to our custody, so we had to develop ways to come up with a solution to an overcrowded jail, and the result was a Day Reporting Center and a work program," Sheriff Dave Hencratt said.
The center on Antelope Boulevard opened last year as a one-stop option for addiction counseling, GED classes, and various training courses.
"Very simply put, I want to make them taxpayers. I want to rehabilitate them to the point where they are clean and sober, that they know how to work, and they actually go out to get jobs," said Chief Probation Officer Richard Muench.
Here, they take part in programs like woodworking and auto shop, designed to help them build job skills for the future.
The programs require offenders to give back, with hopes that they'll become invested in their community.
"Here at the woodworking shop we've saved money for public agencies, churches, non-profits. We saved money by working on our own automobiles out of the Sheriff's shop," Muench said.
The Day Reporting Program is a relatively new model for the state, but so far it seems to be working.
"I can talk about success stories, they're small, but anyone who succeeds through any break we gave them, they earned it, and those people probably aren't going to re-offend again," Sheriff Hencratt said.
The county has also acquired a five acre garden center next to the center, where offenders will be trained to grow native plants.
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