Starke County Officials Attend Summit on Offender Recividism

Community Corrections staff
Robert Hinojosa, Shawn Mattraw and Kimberly Kennedy

Starke County Community Corrections Director, Bob Hinojosa, recently attended a summit in Indianapolis devoted to combating the high rate of offender recidivism. Also attending were Kim Kennedy and Shawn Mattraw from Community Corrections; Judge Kim Hall, Starke County Circuit Court Judge; Magistrate Jeanene Calabrese, Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff, Public Defender, Richard Ballard; Chief Probation Officer, John Thorstad; and Starke Circuit Court Probation officer, Kristi Nolcheff.

“What they keep reminding us, those of us who are practitioners in this field, is that punishment alone is not going to be enough to change offenders,” said Hinojosa. “We have to balance punishment with treatment and that’s what most communities and agencies don’t do particularly well. There were several elements to the model that they presented and we have to be faithful to each element of the model. We can’t just pick and choose certain elements and expect good results. We’ve got to take it as a whole. If we take all of the recommendations as a whole, we should get good results.”

Hinojosa said Community Corrections averages about 60 clients.

“The numbers fluctuate but we’ve been maintaining pretty big numbers since we’ve been here. We now have room for classes and it’s really been a pretty busy place here.”

“It’s safer for the staff, safer for the offenders and the participants that come in,” said Manager Kim Kennedy. “They have more room for us to provide more classrooms for them and more time for them to come in. It all works great and we couldn’t be happier.”