The Starke County Commissioners this week approved the signing of a contract application for Community Corrections. Robert Hinojosa, director of Starke County Community Corrections, told the commissioners that he wasn’t asking them to sign the contract just yet; he was merely asking them to approve the application for the contract.
He explained the application still has to go through the state and a lengthy process before it would come back to the commissioners for approval. This is the sixth consecutive year that Community Corrections has applied for money from the state, and they have always received funds. The contract, which would bring $183,718 in grant money to Community Corrections annually for two years, would effectively cover half of the operating costs of the agency. The remainder of the $377,000 operating budget, Hinojosa said, comes from user fees and other income.
Hinojosa said Community Corrections has been working with the county in lowering the jail population with a goal of not just keeping the would-be inmates out of jail, but improving them as individuals. So far, he said his agency has been doing a good job in changing people for the better.
Hinojosa said they are not looking for additional funds in order to expand – at least until they see how the new state legislators feel about these agencies and whether or not they would find support in lawmakers.
County Attorney Martin Lucas said he had no concerns over the contract, and the commissioners approved the application for the contract to be sent to the state.