Starke County Prosecutor Leslie Baker asked the Starke County Council members and Commissioners during their joint session meeting Tuesday night to approve the addition of a part-time Pre-Trial Diversion Officer.
“As we are evaluating whether a person would be qualified to participate in the program, they would meet with this officer. This officer would schedule a risk assessment with the Probation Department and make recommendations on programming that they would need to complete,” explained Baker.
The officer would report whether or not the client successfully or unsuccessfully completed programs.
“It also helps in keeping track with some of these people because there are people who aren’t successful and they have re-offended in another county. They can set up different accounts through online e-filing, like Doxpop, to monitor that. If their name pops up in another county, then we would know about it and we can address that issue.”
She explained that the position is funded, in part, of a two-year federal grant. Half of the $60,000 per-year grant will fund the Pre-Trial Diversion Officer, while the other half is funding a Re-Entry Coordinator for the Starke County Justice Center.
Baker noted that this is only a two-year grant with no guaranteed funding past that point, but she indicated that she’s seeking other avenues through the Indiana Department of Corrections to keep the position going.
The Council voted unanimously to approve the request as presented. The Commissioners also voted unanimously for the new part-time position. The hiring process will begin as soon as the position is posted.