The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Cops, courts and fires

October 22, 2013

Women's work-release: High support, low funding



According to Circuit 4 Judge David Happe, that's just not fair.

"It's disappointing because we have a need for the program, and the need hasn't changed," Happe said. "It forces us to go one way or another, with no middle option. And it's too bad because we have some women who I think would thrive in that kind of environment."

Defense attorney and public defender Jimmy McDole agreed. He said he's represented women he thinks would've been perfect for a work-release program. He said it essentially acts as discrimination.

"Women should be afforded every opportunity that the men get. They should get that chance. It's a great program that should be available for both," McDole said. "Since it's not there for them, it cuts both ways."

Cummings agreed that the biggest pitfall of not having the program is many women aren't receiving the appropriate punishment, which is especially problematic because Madison County is third in the state behind Marion and Allen counties in percentage of people sent to prison.

"That's the problem," he said. "Sadly, we have to choose sometimes where we put our money. If we put all that money into the program, it would need to come at the expense of something else."

Like Jack Molitor on Facebook and follow him @aggiejack4 on Twitter, or call 640-4883.

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