Starke County Court Services representatives will host a Fall-o-Ween Family Fun Fest event today for those participating in home detention supervision. Activities, food and prizes will be given to participants and their family members during the festivities at Wythogan Park in Knox.
Director of Court Services Shawn Mattraw explained why they are having this unique happening.
“By law, individuals sentenced to home detention supervision in-lieu of prison are highly restricted regarding movement to-and-from their respective residence,” said Mattraw. “Generally, medical leave, court approved counseling and treatment programs, religious programs, and work are the few times an individual is permitted to leave their residence. Our agency complies with the law and program staff members do a good job of monitoring approved movement and sanctioning unauthorized movement.
“The eight principles of effective intervention and (evidence-based research) has shown that by increasing an individual’s engagement in pro-social activities in the community, there is a greater likelihood of reducing overall recidivism. That is why, for the second year in a row, our agency has sponsored a family fun day, where program staff and the individuals they supervise, can engage in fun-filled, pro-social activities while working on positive and professional relationship-building skills. It also gives participants an opportunity to view staff in a different light, not just as rule enforcers, but as agents of change.
“We do extend an invitation to other members of the criminal justice community (courts, probation and prosecutor) to attend, because it allows participants to view these individuals in a more relaxed setting as well, outside of their respective and traditional roles.”