Sentencing Policy Study Committee to Visit Starke County

Shawn Mattraw
Shawn Mattraw
Members of a legislative study committee charged with looking into the effects of the state’s sentencing overhaul will be in Starke County next week.

“Starke County, as well as seven additional Indiana counties, has been chosen to participate in the sentencing policy study committee. It’s quite an honor.”

Starke County Community Corrections Program Coordinator Shawn Mattraw says the committee is gathering information about the comprehensive criminal justice overhaul passed during the last legislative session. It’s set to take effect on July 1, 2014 unless additional changes are made. He says ommittee members have scheduled two invitation-only focus groups with local officials on Monday, Nov. 25.

“The study among the eight counties will determine what effects the law will have in large, medium and small counties such as our own. Starke County was chosen for this study group, and we’ve been asked to participate.”

Unless additional changes are made, the sentencing overhaul will keep D felons out of the Department of Corrections and place them in programs like Starke County Community Corrections aimed at helping to rehabilitate them. Starke County Commissioner Jennifer Davis says the local program is an excellent example of how effective such an alternative can be.

“I definitely think that the last several years have put the Starke County Community Corrections more in like a spotlight with the state, and the honor of being selected is really a credit to your group.”

Starke County Community Corrections is funded by a state grant and participant user fees.