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DOC Will Only Release Parolees With Local Ties To Monroe Co.

From left: Beverly Calender-Anderson, Mayor John Hamilton (D-Bloomington) and Bloomington Police Chief Michael Diekhoff.

The Department of Correction is agreeing to only release parolees to Monroe County if they’re from the area or have relatives living there.

Bloomington Police Chief Michael Diekhoff announced the change during an update of Bloomington’s safety, civility and justice initiatives Thursday.

Diekhoff says it’s a problem the city struggled with the past few years.

“Anyone who wanted to come to Monroe County could, so we had more than our fair share of people who were on parole that weren’t from our county that wanted to take advantage of all the services here,” he says.

Diekhoff says the DOC will more closely watch parolees and where they choose to be dropped off.

“If the person was not from Monroe County or some kind of ties to Monroe County, they would prohibit them from choosing Monroe County to be released to,” he says.

The press conference also included updates related to the police department’s use of cameras on Kirkwood Avenue and plans for a public restroom downtown.

Director of Community and Family Resources Department Beverly Calender-Anderson also says people are taking advantage of Shalom Center’s weekend hours, which started in October.

“They are pretty much exclusively Shalom clients who are homeless, so that means those people that would normally be on the street during that time now have a warm place to be and warm meals,” she says.

Calender-Anderson also says the Parks and Recreation Department plans to redesign People’s Park, and announced that a second South Central Opioid Summit is planned for September.

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