Right now in Harrison County if a person does not pay their traffic fines or if they don't pay their child support, they are thrown in jail. With the person in jail, there is little chance the fines or fees will be collected. In addition, the person will probably lose their job and then most likely have no way to support their families once they are released from jail.
This is the only recourse judges have at this time. However, Sheriff Melvin Brisolara has proposed opening a restitution center on Lorraine Road where these individuals could continue working during the day and be incarcerated at night. The prisoners selected for the restitution programs would be nonviolent offenders.
This sounds like a good plan to us. The persons would probably be able to keep their job and also pay back the fines or fees they owe. In addition this plan would help reduce the overcrowding at the jail.
The sheriff estimates that currently 150 inmates would be eligible for the restitution center. We believe this restitution plan should be given a chance. No doubt the results have to be better than just locking up a person 24 hours a day.
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