LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -The Angelina County Community Supervisions and Corrections Department receives about 1.5 million dollars in funding from the state according to Director Marcy Anthony.
They only receive a third of their budget from the state and rest come from the probation fees of offenders, which has decreased of late, resulting in layoffs for several employees.
"Being from the part of the state where we live that is an extremely difficult and unstable funding source because offenders have a hard time getting jobs in this area,” said Anthony.
Anthony said a rapid decrease in offender population and having more lower risk offenders is also a key factor.
“In the last five years since I have been the director we have gone from about 1700 people being placed on direct supervision to where we are down to below 1200 now,” said Anthony.
Amy Freeman has worked as a probation officer for the past six years and volunteered for the lay off since she will be moving and getting married this year.
"With us getting married it was only right for me to give up my position here, so that people with children could depend on those insurance and a paycheck,” said Freeman.
Freeman said not only will she miss her co-workers, but she will also miss the offenders she has helped over the years.
"We get to know those offenders you know, we get to know them on a personal level so it affects them as well when they have to change officer,” said Freeman.
As for Anthony, she says public safety will continue to be their number one priority.
''I just want the community to know that they don’t have to worry about the level of safety or our level of work that we are going to do here in the department they’re going to continue to receive the same level of services that they have,” said Anthony.
The Angelina County Community and Supervisions Department plan to work with local and state legislators this session for help in receiving additional funding.