Hall County Probation Services gets its start | News
Gainesville - Hall County is taking its misdemeanor probation services in house to save money and enhance public safety.
The Hall County Probation Services Office will have probation and supervisory jurisdiction of all misdemeanor offenses, including supervision, counseling and collection services. Those services are currently provided by a contractor. The changes, which are on the Board of Commissioners consent agenda for Dec. 8, will allow for closer supervision of probationers by officers with arresting authority, quicker induction into treatment programs, and ultimately a lower jail population.
"We have an advanced court system, and it's time that we advanced our probation services to equal the remainder of the organization," Court Administrator Reggie Forrester said.
The Probation Services Office and Treatment Services, which is currently housed in rented space on Main Street, will be moved to a county-owned building on Browns Bridge Road formerly occupied by Avita. This will make Hall County one of the only judicial districts in the Southeast to have a one-stop shop for treatments services for courts, Forrester said.
The new facility is expected to open in March. This is part of a Commission initiative to move departments into county buildings to save money. SPLOST will cover the relocation costs.
Forrester estimated that Treatment Services currently saves the county $3-4 million annually by keeping prisoners out of the jail. Offender fines and fees cover all expenses for probation services.