Clanton to offer probation for some offenses

Published 8:18 pm Monday, February 9, 2009

Clanton’s City Council contracted last night with Judicial Corrections Systems to provide supervised probation services for its city court.

Police Chief Brian Stilwell explained the company would give the court the option to sentence defendants to supervised probation periods which will give them an option of paying fines over a probationary period in lieu of being sentenced to jail. He added the probationary option will reduce jail costs for the city.

City Court Judge Hollis Jackson said he favored the plan because he would be able to allow some of the people found guilty to be placed on probation and not have to send them to jail. He said the system had been in place in Jemison and worked well.

Chief Stillwell said the collection of fines given in city court in Jemison increased 150 percent after the City of Jemison contracted with Judicial Corrections System. He said the system’s personnel would make sure the people on probation met their requirements, including making their monthly payments toward their court fees and fines.

“They will also help collect finds that are due the city now but have not been paid,” Stilwell said.

The program is cost-free to the city, according to Stilwell, who explained those on probation pay Judicial Corrections System the fees charged on their cases.

In other business, the council passed a new flood insurance ordinance that updates the old ordinance passed in 1998.

It passed a motion to hire Henry Witcher full time at West End Park and accepted the resignation of Justin Patterson.

The council gave permission to Kissel Enterprises to set up a carnival on city property near Goose Pond Park March 24-28. Proceeds from the carnival will go to Isabella High School.