Starke County Court Services Director Reports Smooth Transition, Following Merger

The process of merging Starke County Community Corrections with the County Probation Department has been a smooth one, so far. That’s according to Shawn Mattraw. He’s the director of the new entity, known as Starke County Court Services. “Some of the concern some folks have shared is they felt maybe the Probation side might be swallowed up by Community Corrections, that we just want to take over everything, and that’s not the intent,” he says. “The intent is we want to make sure that we can provide our probation officers more resources to do their job more effectively.”

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Starke County Inmates Successfully Complete Chemical Dependency and Addiction Program

Eleven inmates in the Starke County Justice Center recently successfully completed the fifth Chemical Dependency and Addictions program. Eight men and three women graduated from the separate education sessions.

The Chemical Dependency and Addictions program, led by Porter-Starke Services Therapist Leo Smith, provides counseling services and substance abuse education to those who are incarcerated on drug-related crimes. The 14-week program focuses on self-awareness and self-improvement through individual commitment to change criminal thinking and addictive behavior. Stress management and anger and craving suppression skills are developed along with ways to deal with triggers. Critical reasoning and decision-making skills are taught.

Those participating in the program who reaches the graduation stage write a goodbye letter to the drug of their choice. Guests who attend the graduation are encouraged to support the individual’s recovery and their transition into society.

In addition to Therapist Leo Smith’s 27 years of experience working with rehabilitating substance abusers, the effort to host this program is shared with Jail Warden Phill Cherry, Jail Commander Nathan Caudill, Starke County Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall, the Starke County Prosecutor’s Office, and Starke County Court Services.

Photos provided by the Starke County Sheriff’s Department.

Starke County Probation Department, Community Corrections Merge

The recent merger of Starke County Community Corrections with the County Probation Department will result in better services, as well as cost savings. That’s according to Shawn Mattraw. He’s the director of the new entity, known as Starke County Court Services. “Well, the big difference is that it’s going to [be] a cost savings,” he says, “The past structure, when we were separate entities, we had a director in Community Corrections and a chief probation officer. Those positions were funded pretty nicely. Now, those positions have been eliminated, and it’s just me.”

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