[r49] Culver Announces Elkhart Group to Examine Recidivism (7/9/2010)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Start Date: 7/9/2010 All Day
End Date: 7/9/2010
A new group is being formed in Elkhart County to look into how to reduce prison recidivism. In 2009, I gathered a broad range of people involved with or affected by offenders with the purpose of improving our correction system. Our prisons are full, both in Indiana and nationwide, and most states do not have money to build more. If we do not get ahead of this problem in Indiana, we will end up letting violent offenders out of our jails early, as some other states have done.
At this meeting in 2009, the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC) for the State of Indiana had three people in attendance. They liked what they saw, which was a broad range of people and organizations working together to look for solutions. The DOC knew that the Casey Foundation was also interested in looking at communities working together toward solutions. The DOC applied for a grant for Elkhart County through the Casey Foundation and in 2010 - just a few weeks ago -  we were awarded that grant.

The grant provides the structure and professional facilitators to help our group move toward the results it wants. They have suggested that we gather 30-40 people who are actively involved in the criminal justice system (i.e., government employees, not-for-profit organizations, representatives of the faith-based community, etc.) to meet monthly for two years.  In June, I met with about ten leaders from our community and I asked them to come up with names of individuals and organizations that may have interest in being involved in this committee. Perhaps you know of people/organizations that should be considered for this committee. If so, please contact me.  You can reach my Statehouse office at 317-234-3825.  The meetings will begin in August, 2010.
I have always said that I believe we have the leadership talent in Elkhart county that can help devise solutions for the whole state. Now is our chance.
Rep. Wes Culver