Re-1 school use of Workenders to be limited to off-hours
October 24, 2009
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Use of the Garfield County Community Corrections Workender program by area schools will be limited to after-school hours and weekends from now on, according to Roaring Fork School District Re-1 Superintendent Judy Haptonstall.
The decision came after a meeting with concerned parents at Glenwood Springs Elementary on Wednesday.
“We decided we will not use the Workender program on campuses during the school day,” Haptonstall said.
The issue was raised when some parents complained after observing a crew of seven community corrections clients raking leaves at GSES last week.
The district utilized the program to do maintenance work at several schools over the past year and a half, without any complaints or problems, Haptonstall has said.
Most of the crews work on weekends, though some workers are available to work during the week.
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Workender clients typically perform work two days per week for governmental and nonprofit agencies within the 9th Judicial District as a form of community service.
The program has been in place since 1997 in Garfield County as a sentencing option for people convicted of nonviolent crimes, instead of sentencing them to jail, according to Rodney Hollandsworth, who directs the program.
Most people involved in the program are serving sentences for DUI or other alcohol-related offenses, and are considered “very low risk offenders,” he said.
In another school security concern, Glenwood Springs Elementary Principal Sonya Hemmen said she recently spoke with Glenwood Springs Mayor Bruce Christensen about an abandoned Roaring Fork Transportation Authority shed near the campus, where it was discovered several transients had been living for some time.
“He told me that, along with regular patrolling by the police, RFTA authorities have confirmed that the shed will be demolished completely within two months,” she said.
In the meantime, police have been regularly checking the boarded-up shed to make sure it remains secured.