Recovering Addict Speaks to Starke County Jail Addictions Education Program Inmates

Herb Stepherson is now in recovery and is the author of the book “Junkbox Diaries, A Day in the Life of a Heroin Addict”

A recovering heroin addict shared a sobering message with 16 Starke County Jail inmates who are part of the in-house drug treatment program. Herb Stepherson says he always felt like an alien in his own skin and started smoking cigarettes when he was 15 in order to fit in with his peers. It worked, and soon afterward Stepherson discovered alcohol as another means of escape. He went from binge drinking with high school friends on the weekends to skipping school and sneaking out of the house after his parents cracked down on him. Continue reading

First Inmates Graduate from Starke County Jail Nurturing Fathers Class

The program goal is stated on the white board in the jail’s group meeting room.

The Starke County Jail staff is utilizing the extra space at the new jail to offer a variety of programs to help inmates better themselves. Yesterday seven men graduated from the first Nurturing Fathers program. It was put on by caseworker Jerome Kelly from Valparaiso-based Family Focus, Inc. Continue reading

First Starke County Jail Drug Treatment Program Participants Graduate

Starke County Therapeutic Community Program Coordinator Leo Smith and Sheriff Bill Dulin pose with the program's first graduates
Starke County Therapeutic Community Program Coordinator Leo Smith and Sheriff Bill Dulin pose with the program’s first graduates

The first graduates of the Starke County Jail’s substance abuse treatment program for inmates awaiting sentencing were recognized during a ceremony yesterday at the facility. The voluntary, grant funded program launched in September as a partnership with Porter/Starke Services. Continue reading

Starke Commissioners to Consider CAFO Fees

Starke County CommissionersThe Starke County Commissioners will consider amendments to the confined animal feeding ordinance fee schedule when they meet this evening. The Starke County Plan Commission recently approved a flat $500 flat permit, along with a $75 filing fee to offset the cost of processing the application. They also doubled the re-inspection fee to $100 for all permits. It will be charged when the county is called out to conduct an inspection, but the work is deemed to be incomplete. Continue reading

Sheriff Launches Inmate Garden at Starke County Jail

garden1 Inmates at the Starke County Jail will be learning life skills while putting food on the table this summer. Sheriff Bill Dulin says they’re taking advantage of the 22 acre site east of Knox.

“We’re going to raise some produce and have the inmates work it, plant it, produce it, harvest it, and we’re also going to serve that produce to the population in the jail. We’re going to have potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes and some melons, too.” Continue reading

Starke County Jail Prepares for D.O.C. Inmates

Starke County Justice CenterOfficials at the Starke County Jail are preparing for an influx of inmates this week. They are Department of Correction prisoners who have been sentenced to an extensive drug treatment program. Starke County was approved late last year for the state’s first non-prison-based therapeutic community, thanks to the efforts of State Sen. Jim Arnold, Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall and others. Sheriff Bill Dulin says there’s plenty of room in the jail for up to 48 D.O.C. inmates without displacing any local prisoners. Continue reading

State Approves Drug Treatment Pilot Program at Starke County Jail

Starke County Justice CenterThe Starke County Jail will soon be home to the state’s first non-prison-based intensive drug treatment program. During a recent drug task force meeting, Gov. Mike Pence directed the Department of Correction to work with Starke County to adopt and pilot the Regional Therapeutic Communities (RTC) program. It gives local officials more treatment options to address drug addiction. Continue reading