LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – Changes are being recommended to a female probationary house in La Crosse following a serious drug-related incident in February.
National Institute of Corrections Consultant Patricia Van Voorhis is recommending changes to the house—such as 24/7 staffing, periodic visits from probation officers, and a focus on gender-specific anger management programming.
La Crosse County Board of Supervisors Chair Tara Johnson said now is the best time to improve Ophelia's house. “As a general rule, La Crosse County I think works very hard to evaluate on a regular basis. Ophelia's House has been up and running for a couple years now and we should be checking to see if we are getting the results that we want, or is it having the impact on those really, fragile-needy female offenders,” Johnson said.
Johnson said no one has recommended shutting down Ophelia's House, despite complaints about the condition of the home.
Johnson recommends that the county should put together a work group or task force to focus on further improving the house. Johnson said it's possible the home could see short-term improvements, such as improved services, “very soon”.
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