The Indiana Judicial Center recently awarded a total of $175,000 in grant funds to the Porter County and Starke County Circuit Courts to be used to expand mental health and substance abuse disorder evaluation and treatment services to those offenders involved in Community Corrections Program and Probation in the neighboring counties that are likely to reoffend.
The 18-month grant aims to address this population’s health needs and reducing the factors that can lead to additional crime. Porter County PACT, Porter County Probation, Starke County Probation, Starke County Community Corrections and Porter-Starke Services will be responsible for delivering services to the estimated 1,500 people expected to be at high-risk.
“This is a unique collaboration that builds upon what we’ve been working to accomplish in both counties,” said Judge Mary Harper of Porter County. “By leveraging our collective resources and seeking this additional funding, the impact we can make on Northwest Indiana is even greater,” said Harper.
Offenders determined to be at greater risk will be further evaluated to determine needs. Partners of the project will then work together to provide case management, community supervision and mental health and substance abuse treatment services.
“The regional approach to work across county lines will address some service gaps, particularly in the areas of mental health,” said Judge Kim Hall of Starke County. “About 2 in every five people in jail have right now have both a mental illness and substance abuse diagnoses and these dollars will help us respond and treat these issues,” said Hall.
Judge Hall and Judge Harper will supervise the project. All parties involved will be responsible for reporting outcomes at the end of the 18-month period.