RAID Program

By: Melissa Reynolds
By: Melissa Reynolds

Most of the offenders are behind on child support payments. Now, they can pay that back and instead of the state paying to keep them in jail, the inmates are paying the state to be in the program.

"It's something I have to get behind me and I'm working on it," Willis Hottinger says.

He's literally working. Willis Hottinger's behind on child support, rather than go to jail for a year, he's working at the fairgrounds.

"It's a chance to get outside," Hottinger says.

"We make them stay employed we want them to have a job if they don't their alternative thing would be to be locked up," Lt. Wesley Jordan says.

Hottinger and the other 26 inmates in the RAID program are under house arrest when they're not at work...home checks keep them there.

"The phone automotively calls them randomly, they've gotta actually take a voice test on the phone to verify," Lt. Jordan says.

"Do the automated calls keep you at home? Yes, they do."

Hundreds of files are child support cases that could be part of the RAID program-that's why another officer's needed.

"We do home checks we do employer checks every week we alcohol and drug test em every week this is a big reason we need the extra help to keep the records and keep things flowing consistently," Lt. Jordan says.

And they say it's money well spent.

"Would you have been able to make the child support payments without RAID? Not sitting in jail you wouldn't. It just puts you that much further behind," Willis says.

The program has over a 90 percent success rate. And, since the program started, the amount of child support paid has gone up dramatically.

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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