Parolees need a place to stay

Posted on January 2nd in News

The Harney County Community Corrections is facing a problem that affects all citizens, neighborhoods and schools in the community. According to Harney County Sheriff Dave Glerup, when the state of Oregon turned over the control and funding for Community Corrections to the counties, it also required the counties to provide transitional housing to inmates returning from the state prison system to their counties of residence.

The easy answer, said Glerup, would be for the counties to say they do not want these individuals in their communities. However, state statute requires that these parolees be returned to the counties, where their home address was when they were sentenced to the state prison system. The statute also states that if the individual does not have the funds or family in the area to provide housing, Community Corrections will provide that housing until the parolee finds work or other income to provide their own housing. Currently, in Harney County, apartments and motel rooms are being used to house these parolees, at a major expense to the corrections department. Many of the parolees are convicted sex offenders or drug dealers, so it is difficult to find housing that is not near a school, church, or other public places, where children congregate or play, said Glerup. Many landlords will not rent to a convicted sex offender or drug violator. Many of the parolees have been housed near schools and parks because that was the only housing available.

Harney County Community Corrections is currently applying for a grant to build or purchase a building that will be used for transitional housing for returning parolees. They are discussing locations, building plans and operational plans for the facility.

Sheriff Glerup said that Community Corrections knows there is no perfect location for such a facility, because it will undoubtedly be next to someone’s house or business. Therefore, two community meetings will be held during January to discuss the grant for the transitional housing.

The meetings will be held on Jan. 8 and Jan. 22. Both meetings will be held at 7 p.m. in the basement meeting room at the Harney County Courthouse. All interested citizens are encouraged to attend.

5 Responses to “Parolees need a place to stay”

  1. John Stauffer Says:

    I appreciated the article concerning a place for parolees to live. It its problematic when a community the size of ours offers so many services to people who are on parole/probation. Harney County Corrections seems to do better than most when it comes to keeping tabs on offenders. However, also problematic is that the community expects that none of these persons will live in their neighborhoods, work in their businesses and will not need to also frequent some of them. As the former BIP and Sex Offender treatment facilitator in Harney County, I know first hand how difficult it is to keep track of the probationer/parolee. Our Sheriff and his staff do a credible job of securing these former and perhaps and most likely new offenders. I would be great to have the humanpower to provide the 24/7 monitoring and the money to provide a halfway house treatment facility. This is Harney County. Where would the money and humanpower come from if it were to be approved? Where would the housing be built and who would ultimately oversee it? Just thoughts not researched solutions.

  2. Justin Barneskin Says:

    There was a hopelessness that permeated my world, emanating from my skin, soaking into all my organs. My stomach no longer bothered to call attention to itself. Instead, it gulped its growls, seeking nourishment in emptiness.
    I looked to my father with questioning eyes to see the folds of his wrinkly skin swallow him whole to leave an ashy residue that soon vanished into the cold, cold. Without my father I stood on two rotten feet inundated with fear.
    I left with these things, the only things left in a house barren. I left wearing the leather-bottomed shoes grandmother blessed before she died. I left mother nibbling on her fingers in want of food. I told them that the good graces gave me whatever I had.
    Dizzy and hallucinatory spells replaced the hunger in the pit of my stomach. I fell on my noggin in the middle of the trail where it left a mark of doom that I thought would signal my inevitable fate. My father warned me never to enter the woods alone. I forget sometimes what people tell me to do or not do. What they tell me slips away into the backwaters of my memory where it drowns in all other memories forgotten. There is a place in the mountains where they say one can stay and never go hungry. There, they say, the rocks turn into meat upon contact, the trees yield bread soft, warm breads, and flowers bloom sweet candies. My mother will not hear talk of this dream place at home. “That is the place of the devil,” she says, and the look in her eyes told me seeking this forbidden land will lead to a fate a thousand times worse than hunger.

  3. Violet Moore Says:

    I’m not sure what correction persons in Harney County are thinking. I’m sure they’ve been aware for some time that they’d have a problem with housing offenders. Seems to me they need to administer with compassion instead of trying to run these people out of the community. I’ve already experienced through first-hand contact with ‘officers’ in this county when my brother was recently released. They have no problem ‘harrassing’ (I mean this literally) these parolees. I feel sorry for him because as soon as he returned he was already being “followed”. I know that transitional housing can be accomplished through grant applications and such. There is much needed services in this town than just that – but that’s a whole other story. As a current student of Criminal Justice one of the aspects of policing is to ‘educate’ the community to work together. As small as this community is, its hard to help people lose the ‘prejudices, and stereotypical attitudes’. The only solution to this problem is to teach from within and involve as many people as possible including the offenders themselves. I think Burns needs to ‘grow with the times’ and quit holding fast to the uppety attitudes that has somehow taken control of the humanistic passions & forgiveness of the older generations. If they’re so concerned for the ‘safety’ of the community – be open to applying for grants, open to providing a job market by allowing more businesses in, to actually do some ‘good’ in this community rather than “brow-beat” offenders for past offenses – help them to help themselves.

  4. Devin Carter Says:

    Be sure to attend the meetings at the courthouse, the entertainment lined up promises to be a fun filled evening for the whole family. The giggling idiot will be there with his side kick, the village idiot. The lush black-out witch will be there forgetting that she threw you out last night.

    Rest assured, the status quo will be maintained. If you happen to reside in a big house on the hill, your only worries will be a hit and run fender bender in the parking lot where you left your obnoxious diesel. Everyone else who hasn’t been caught yet happens to live within walking distance of the probation office.

    Let the good times roll. From the slackers at Saginaw Village to the graffiti artists at Quail Court, City Center Hotel, Burnstown and Marylhurst. If the scene is not to your liking, maybe you can apply for a grant too, and escape from New York City.

  5. Justin Says:

    They should simply hang a sign outside of town to read;
    Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here

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