Starke County Community Corrections to Increase Surveillance, Data Collection with Grant Funds

Robert Hinojosa
Robert Hinojosa

Starke County Community Corrections will be able to increase compliance checks of those serving home detention, as well as step up its data collection efforts, thanks to a grant from the Indiana Department of Correction.

Starke County Community Corrections director Robert Hinojosa says the grant for over $80,000 will let them hire a new full-time case manager. He says that will give the coordinator of case management more time for other duties, “One of the things that we’re going to focus on is allowing the case manager who’s our coordinator of case management to focus more on data and outcome measures, which is something that’s required to show how effective we have been in our interventions and in our case management. Our coordinator’s time was divided between trying to do all this and case manage, so one of the positions that we got funded was for a case manager.”

Hinojosa says some of the grant money will also be used to increase the number of random home visits to make sure participants in the Community Corrections program are following the rules, “As we continue to grow and develop, we needed some additional funds so we could go out there a little more frequently, targeting our high-risk offenders with the highest level of surveillance. So, we justified in our application the need to go out there a little more frequently than we’re able to do, and so that’s why we’re happy about that as well.”

In addition to the grant awarded to Starke County Community Corrections, another grant for nearly $23,000 is going to the Starke County Circuit Court Probation Department. Hinojosa says this was made possible by an expansion in counties’ uses of Indiana Department of Correction funding, following changes in state law which stopped Level 6 Felony offenders from being sent to the IDOC, “Because of overcrowding at the Department of Correction, in part, the counties can’t send those offenders any longer to the Department of Correction. So we anticipated increased admissions as a result of that. They’re going to be served at the local level. So, counties were permitted to submit amendments to our existing applications to include services to this population that, before the passage of House Enrolled Act 1006, would not come into Community Corrections programs.”

The Probation Department will use its share of the money to hire a new part-time officer to help with its pre-trial evaluation program.