Grovetown opts to outsource probation services after city suffers financial loss

After experiencing a fiscal loss of more than $100,000 over three years from its in-house probation services, the Grovetown City Council approved a proposal to outsource the operation.

The services were awarded to private probation services company CSRA Probation Services Inc., headquartered in Evans. The company will assume operations effective immediately, according to a news release from the company.

Grovetown Human Resources manager Elaine Matthews proposed the council look into outsourcing the services, after the city saw a loss of $101,449.45 from 2014-2016. Matthews broke the losses down by year – $26,627 in 2014, $32,019.21 in 2015 and $42,803.24 in 2016.

According to the city’s information officer John Waller, the cost to provide the services in-house was the $51,775 salary of the lone probation services employee Carol A. Wolfe, in addition to administrative and office supplies.

Matthews touted Wolfe’s employment with the city and said she could be used part time with the department of public safety and part time with the human resources department, while keeping the same salary.

3 most recent years tracking operational costs of Grovetown probation services

Operational cost in 2014 - Expense: $54,247 - Income: $27,620 - Net Loss in tax dollars $26,627

Operational cost in 2015 - Expense: $55,376.21 - Income: $23,357 - Net Loss in tax dollars $32,019.21

Operational cost in 2016 - Expense: $57,927.24 - Income: $15,124 - Net loss in tax dollars $42,803.24

Source: Grovetown Human Resources Department

Elmer Dinkley 5 days ago
I guess the questions I have are this:

Why has the "income" for the probation office declined over the past 3 years?  Is this income the result of the probation paid to get out of jail?  Has the number of residents on probation gone up or down?  How many cases does Ms. Wolfe handle?

If so, then it seems that either a) there are less convictions and sentencing resulting in probation for the perpetrators, or b) more convictions are not subject to probation.  The net result in either scenario would seem like more criminals being incarcerated and not allowed early release.  Seems like a win, despite the financial loss. 

Sounds like the probation office (Ms. Wolfe) needs to go to part-time hours.
Little Lamb 4 days ago
I don't like the slant of this story.  When a government decides to provide a service (especially a law enforcement service), they know there are costs involved.  The service should not be expected to make money.  Sure, the probation service collects a few fees here and there, but no one in their right mind expects the fees to cover all the costs.

Now, they have decided to contract with a private service.  There is a fee for that.  Will the city call that fee a "loss" in next year's financial accounting?
John Booth 4 days ago
This is a flip and flop situation!  Grovetown all of a sudden goes private and Richmond county goes 180 degrees in the opposite direction.  Hey Abbigail,  plan to go back in a year and post a story about RC and Grovetown and their efforts at probation.
Little Lamb 4 days ago
The main thing that is missing from Abigail Lennon's story is the cost of CSRA Probation Services’ proposal that was approved.  Surely the dollar figure was disclosed in open council meeting!


Mon, 04/24/2017 - 17:56

Rants and raves

Around the Web