Centre officials approve submission of grant to aid re-entry program

BELLEFONTE — During a light meeting Tuesday, the Centre County Commissioners approved submission of a grant application to aid the Centre County Reentry Coalition, along with several contracts, contract addendums and memorandums.

According to Gene Lauri, county director of criminal justice planning, the $1,415 Criminal Justice Advisory Board technical assistance grant will be used to fund a full-feature website for the reentry coalition and the printing of reentry materials that will be distributed to the public as part of a reentry outreach campaign. A total of $22,400 is available on a first-come, first-serve basis, with a maximum per grantee of $1,500.

The grant is provided by a partnership of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

“This is really a model, after the HOPE initiative has done an excellent job,” Commissioner Mike Pipe said. “They got a website up and this is almost sort of copying that and just changing some of the names and individuals associated with it. It’s been a great asset to the HOPE coalition.”

The website created by the HOPE (Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education) initiative has really helped get the word out in the county, especially in terms of education, events, and how to help out, Pipe added.

“The reentry coalition has been doing a wonderful job,” Commissioner Mark Higgins said. “I know the number of county inmates in our facilities has been on a relatively steady decrease ever since that group started working. That’s more grandparents taking care of grandchildren, more parents taking care of their kids, more young adults helping to contribute to their family and assisting everyone in the county.”

The Centre County Reentry Coalition was formed in 2014 with the mission to identify new ways and programs that would successfully return incarcerated individuals to the community.

In other business, the commissioners approved:

r Two 20-year memorandums of understanding between the Pennsylvania State Police and the county for the cooperative use of the radio frequencies, licensed by the FCC to the county, and also co-locating on the Rockview Tower.

r An addendum between the ARC of Centre County and the County of Centre to allow for funds to provide additional Mental Health Community Employment services in the amount of $2,500. This will increase the contract maximum for mental health services from $5,000 to $7,500. The total contract maximum for MH/ID increases from $136,363 to $138,863 for the period of July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017.

r A letter of agreement between John Boswell, M.D. and the county to provide mental health outpatient services. The contract total is $2,000 and runs from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

r A letter of agreement between Delafield, McGee, and Jones P.C. and the county for services that include legal consultation, attendance at mental health and intellectual disability commitment hearings, as needed, and review of commitment hearing appeals. Contract total is an estimated $5,000 and runs from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

r A contract between Oasis Lifecare, LLC and the county for mental health outpatient services. Contract total is $10,000 and runs from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.

r A contract between Brockerhoff House Corporation and the county for representative payee services for intellectual disability and mental health consumers. The contract total is $19,70 and runs from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

r A contract between Crossroads Counseling, Inc. and the county for outpatient mental health services. The contract total is $35,000 and runs from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

r A memorandum of understanding between West Branch Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission and the county to set forth mutual goals, objectives and scope of drug and alcohol case coordination services, which support the Center of Excellence provided by Crossroads Counseling, Inc.

r A contract renewal with Palmetto Posting, Inc. for posting properties in preparation for the 2017 Upset Tax Sale and posting of the 2016 Return and Claim Notices returned by the U.S. Postal Service. The contract total is $15,000 and runs from June 1, 2017 through May 31, 2018.

r A memorandum of understanding between the Department of Agriculture and the county that authorizes jurisdiction to conduct certain weights and measures inspections. The memorandum runs from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2022.