(1) It is the intent of the Legislature that cities and counties or combinations thereof have the option to develop, establish, and maintain community programs to provide the judicial system with community alternatives for certain nonviolent offenders who may require less than institutional custody but more than probation supervision pursuant to this chapter. It is further intended that such programs provide increased opportunities for offenders to make restitution to victims of crime through financial reimbursement or community service, while promoting efficiency and economy in the delivery of correctional services.
(2) In the event that a city or county or a combination thereof elects to develop, establish, and maintain such community program, it shall provide support to a local offender advisory council composed of members appointed by the city or county governing body; if a council is established by more than one local government, an equal number of members shall be appointed by each participating governing body. Each council shall also include in its membership two persons appointed by the chief judge of the circuit serving the jurisdiction or jurisdictions participating on the committee and one person appointed by the appropriate regional office of the Department of Corrections. Each such council shall be responsible for:
(a) Identifying and developing community services and programs for use by the courts in diverting offenders from state correctional institutions.
(b) Providing a mechanism whereby all offenders with needs for services will be linked to appropriate agencies and individuals.
(c) Upon referral to the council by the circuit court, determining if an appropriate behavioral contract can be developed with an offender in a community program as an alternative to incarceration, and providing findings and recommendations to the referring judge.