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Saturday, Feb. 24
The Indiana Daily Student

crime & courts

County program graded ‘A’ in audit

Monroe County Community Corrections Program received an ‘A’ in an audit testing their progress towards becoming an evidence-based organization.

The Indiana Department of Corrections required all Community Corrections Programs in Indiana undergo audits in 2013. The IDOC can require the transformation to become an evidence-based organization because they provide grant funding to the program.

Evidence-based practices, which are used by evidence-based organizations, have demonstrated through research that they can reduce recidivism.

The department has been using evidence-based programs since 1998, said Linda Brady, Monroe Circuit Court chief probation officer.

IDOC gave the Monroe County Community Corrections Program, which is a division of the Monroe Circuit Court Probation Department, 93 out of 100 possible points for their audit.

Brady said out of all the Community Corrections Programs in Indiana, Monroe County’s received the second highest score for the audit.

Community Corrections offers alternatives to the basic sentencing options, which are jail, prison or probation. Some alternative services provided by the Monroe County Community Corrections Program are road crew, public restitution and home detention.

Brady said benefits of home detention are a lower cost to the community, and the offender is able to continue to work, pay taxes and support his or her family.

“When you send people to jail they aren’t going to come out a better person unless there is programming,” Brady said. “Prisons are notorious for people coming out at a higher risk to offend.”

Brady said one of the biggest changes, as the program worked to become evidence-based, is every staff member was put on a committee to prepare for the audit and will continue working on these committees for future audits.

“There will be a lot more staff-initiated policies and procedures,” Brady said.

Some of the changes to Monroe County Community Corrections are visual.

“We made sure that when someone walked into the office they know our mission by the things on our walls,” Brady said.

The walls now display  posters about change and positive behavior.

“Our department is doing extremely well in becoming an evidence-based program,” Brady said. “We set the benchmark pretty high to get a 93, and we are going to continue to do as well or better every year.”

— Mary Hauber

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