The Jefferson County community corrections program has been approved for a two-year grant worth more than $347,800 from the Indiana Department of Correction.

Amber Finnegan, director of the local community corrections program, said the office received the funding earlier this month after meeting with officials for a grant review in Indianapolis.

The grant, which is based on county population, will be used over two years to cover salaries. The department has six employees: A director, three case managers, administrative assistant and field officer.

In addition to the funding, the local department tied for fourth in the state for its grant application and site evaluation conducted by the Department of Correction. It received 100 percent for its grant application and 94 on the site evaluation.

"We scored very high," Finnegan said, adding that the office received several bonus points for sending a low number of Class D felons to the Department of Correction.

The community corrections program began in August 2010 and operates without county funds. Finnegan said most operating costs come from those enrolled in the program.

Currently, the program serves 173 offenders, about 80 of whom are on electronic monitoring devices.

"We basically operate off our offender fees," she said.

Since the program began two years ago, Finnegan said its "growth has been incredible," and she attributes that success to her staff, local judges and prosecutors.

"If you don't have the support of your judges or prosecutors, you don't have a program," she said.