COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The City of Columbus has formed a new partnership meant to bolster its program to keep nonviolent offenders out of jail.

City Attorney Zach Klein announced the partnership Thursday with CareSource, a nationally recognized nonprofit health plan.

The City’s diversion program —  Help Understand Barriers (HUB) — was implemented in 2019 to screen nonviolent misdemeanor offenders and determine the reasons behind their infractions.

The model was created by the Healthcare Collaborative of Greater Columbus (HCGC).

“By partnering with HCGC’s Central Ohio Pathways HUB and now CareSource, we’re streamlining our successful program and connecting defendants to programs that may already be available to them in order to address the challenges that led them to nonviolent crime,” said Klein. “Our diversion program increases community safety, seeks justice for victims and the public and provides defendants the tools they need to change their behaviors in lieu of incarceration.”

The HUB program plans to utilize CareSource Life Services to help offenders achieve a better work-life balance.

Klein’s office says fewer than 10% of the 88 participants so far have recommitted a crime.