Union County, Pennsylvania, will open a day reporting center for low-risk offenders by the end of the month.

In 2010, Union County spent $850,000 housing jail inmates in other locations because its own jail was severely overcrowded. County officials began to search for a more effective and cost-efficient way to manage its jail and realized there was a sizable portion of low-risk non-violent offenders who did not need secure confinement.

The County chose to follow the lead of 10 other municipalities in Pennsylvania, which have adopted day reporting for low-risk offenders, often those guilty of shoplifting or DUIs. Day reporting provides supervision for these offenders while connecting them with the resources necessary to desist from crime and obtain employment or substance abuse management.

It’s much a better option than busting the city budget and burdening taxpayers.