Day Reporting Center client goes missing

August 30, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

Editor's note: This is the third in an occasional series of stories about the Franklin County Day Reporting Center and those to whom it offers a second chance.

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- "He's run away to join the circus."

Kim Eaton's words seemed to be a joke, but her tone revealed a humorless combination of disbelief and disappointment.

Eaton saw on daily spreadsheets that Brian Cline missed one day of check-in at the Day Reporting Center (DRC) and then another. On the third day, Cline's case manager called the client's mother.

She said he went south for a carnival or circus job, causing several DRC staff members to speculate he started drinking again.

"He reverted to his normal course of action, which was to run away," said Eaton, the DRC program director.

Cline, of Waynesboro, Pa., left Franklin County Jail in mid-August and started DRC programs designed to keep him from returning to a cell block. However, Cline has not been in contact with the DRC for more than a week.


Eaton said if Cline had failed to report for a couple days, or admitted to counselors that he again used drugs or alcohol, he probably could continue with the DRC through a three-strikes policy.

"Mistakes, we can fix. The program is set up not that people have to be perfect," she said.

If found now, though, Cline would be at the mercy of his probation officer, who would decide whether Cline would return to jail and/or the DRC.

Cline, whose 25th birthday was Sunday, entered the DRC with strong recommendations from jail staff. His choice to abscond prompted Eaton to reflect on the importance of evaluating clients through the moral recognition therapy measurements.

"Objectively, we're not good judges," Eaton said. "Some people are likable and you want them to do well."

Stacy Spoonhour, 28, went to the DRC for the first time Thursday with hopes her outcome will be different than Cline's. Spoonhour said she wants to stay out of jail to support her two children.

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