ACCC Historical Timeline: 1985-Present
Allen County Community Corrections (ACCC) initiated operations after receiving the startup funding from an Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) grant.
ACCC implemented its first electronic monitoring system that consisted of a computer driven voice recognition feature and the earliest form of radio frequency transmitter/receiver system.
ACCC began operations as an independent agency supported by IDOC grant funding and participant user fees.
Case Management and Field monitoring duties were separated into two (2) specialized work groups. Programming was first designed, developed, and administered at ACCC.
Field Officers began law enforcement basic training at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield, Indiana. ACCC became certified by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration as an Intensive Outpatient Treatment Provider Site.
ACCC moved to a newly built 20,000 square foot building at 201 West Superior Street. Allen County Commissioners completed the construction of the two-story facility in May 2000. Allen County Police Officers and Reserve Officers joined the Field Supervision team.
Allen County Superior Re-Entry Court began operating with Judge John F. Surbeck presiding. This Problem-Solving Court manages the returning justice-involved population.
Fort Wayne Police Officers were added to the Field Supervision Division to work on a part-time basis. ACCC offered the first Employment Academy to address special issues involving participant employment.
Program Identification and Placement (PIP) was introduced in December 2004. The PIP program used the motivational intervention model and allowed Misdemeanor Judges and Magistrates to sentence justice-involved individuals to a process which enabled them to choose what course they believed would be most beneficial.
Early in 2005, after much preparation and what has since proved to be an improvement on traditional methods of GED preparatory class in relation to justice-involved populations, an Adult Basic Education program based on a similar program modeled by the Safer Foundation in Chicago began.
In May of 2005, the inception of an English as a Second Language (ESL) learning program at ACCC was met with ready attendance of mostly Hispanic, Misdemeanor cases.
In October, two (2) staff members became the first from ACCC to become Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) members.
Developed in response to a need expressed locally for an additional option in programming for anger management, a new program titled “Gaining Control” began operations at ACCC.
In February, the MINT Trainers developed and implemented a structured training program designed to standardize the concepts of Motivational Interviewing (MI) and ACCC’s philosophy in which all staff members were to receive education with the goal of ensuring consistency in the knowledge and application of MI across the entire staff member population.
ACCC staff members attended the Correctional Program Assessment Inventory (CPAI) – 2000 training in January and Effective Practices in Correctional Settings (E.P.I.C.S.) training in April.
In August, canine handler, R. Finton, and his K-9, “Jake,” completed the initial canine training with the Allen County Police Department and began service with the ACCC Field Division. K-9 Jake was certified in Obedience Control, Evidence Search, Tracking, and the Detection of Narcotics.
In October, the MINT Trainers launched their structured training of Motivational Interviewing to the Indiana Judicial Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. This formalized training was tailored to the professionals involved with Re-Entry Courts, Drug Courts, and other specialized Courts and agencies supervising a variety of justice-involved individuals.
In February 2009, members of the Field Division completed initial training to carry taser guns. The first taser guns were purchased in May with a grant from Steel Dynamics, Inc. and with narcotics seizure funds. The officers completed their training and began carrying the tasers in June.
In April, the Executive Group approved the implementation of a revised and comprehensive Field Officer Training program for the Field Division.
August 29, 2009 the Allen Superior Re-Entry Court was certified by the Indiana Judicial Center (IJC). During the three-year certification, the Re-Entry Court staff team is required to maintain compliance with the certification rules and remain subject to random audits by IJC staff.
The Kelley House Modified Therapeutic Community (MTC) accepted a pioneer group of residents to begin programming. Formally the Washington House, which was a local substance abuse detoxification facility, the facility provided shelter and activities for all residents.
Kelley House MTC begins a social enterprise entitled “Restoration Works Woodworking” (RWW). The enterprise manufactured work benches, wooden clocks, toy chests, and bird houses for purchase.
Kelley House reached 50% occupancy in May 2011. Kelley House was officially dedicated in honor of Jim Kelley, one of the original founders of the Washington House, previously a local substance abuse detoxification facility. Chief Justice Randall Shepherd was the keynote speaker of the event.
Allen Circuit Restoration Court was certified on January 27, 2012, as a Problem-Solving Court (PSC), providing judicial oversight, case management, mental health services, and possible residential placement in a modified therapeutic community for those justice-involved individuals dually diagnosed with a severe mental illness and substance-related diagnosis.
Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) held its annual Training of New Trainers and Organizational Training Forum in Fort Wayne, Indiana in September 2012. ACCC maintained three (3) MINT Member Trainers of the four (4) registered in Indiana at the time in 2012.
Restoration Works Woodworking (RWW) launched its website to market handcrafted wood products and paintings online. RWW also began its partnership with the Fort Wayne Farmer’s Market, assisting with set-up at their monthly markets throughout winter, which RWW also participated as a vendor.
In April 2013, ACCC hired a graduate from the Kelley House MTC as a subcontractor for the woodworking enterprise, RWW.
In April 2013, ACCC sent its first three (3) employees to Effective Communication/Motivational Strategies (ECMS) Training, a new evidence-based training program sponsored by the Indiana Department of Correction.
A pilot program for oral swab drug screening program began in May 2013, offering Field Officers the opportunity to collect on-site screens as a variant to traditional urine drug screens.
ACCC began the independent operation of the Allen Circuit Veterans Court Program.
Longtime ACCC Executive Director Sheila Hudson retires after serving 28 years as the agency’s top administrator. She received the Sagamore of the Wabash Award from Governor Mike Pence for her dedicated service.
In March 2014, Kim Churchward was unanimously selected by the Allen County Community Corrections Advisory Board to serve as the Executive Director of the agency.
The Indiana House Enrolled Act 1006 went into effect as a complete revision of the Indiana Criminal Code. Among the changes were a change in sentencing guidelines and offense classifications.
Beginning July 1, 2014, Allen County introduced the Criminal Justice Treatment Marketplace, offering risk-identified placements in treatment programs for addictions, mental illness, criminal thinking, and trauma. The initiative was supported by funding from the Indiana Judicial Center’s 2014 Community Supervision Grant.
In November 2014, the Allen Circuit and Superior Courts, in conjunction with ACCC and Criminal Division Services, celebrated the first graduation commencement of the Joint Allen Veterans Court Program. Congressman Marlon Stutzman delivered the keynote address to the graduates.
In January of 2015, Allen County Community Corrections’ Kelley House MTC program closed operations.
On March 20, 2015, the Allen Circuit Veterans Court was certified by the Indiana Office of Court Services (IOCS) as an independent Problem-Solving Court under the direction of the Honorable Thomas J. Felts.
In July 2015, Allen Circuit Restoration Court was recertified as a Problem-Solving Court by the Indiana Judicial Center for a three-year timeframe.
Allen County Community Corrections’ 30th Anniversary – The 2015-16 fiscal year marked the 30th anniversary of ACCC. On Friday, October 16, 2015, the agency held a recognition ceremony in honor of its staff and Advisory Board members who have worked together to collectively serve Allen County over its 30 years. IDOC Program Director Kristen Banschbach, on behalf of Julie Lanham, IDOC Deputy Commissioner of Re-Entry, served as the guest-speaker for the event. Also, as part of the celebration, ACCC staff presented informational boards, pictures, and displays describing agency’s primary functions.
Allen County hosted the Indiana Department of Correction for ECMS Training in December.
Allen County Community Corrections and Allen County Adult Probation prepared the first edition of a Collaboration Plan, articulating specific elements of cooperation and coordination for the supervision of justice-involved adults in Allen County. Amended for the 2015 – 2016 fiscal period, the Collaboration Plan is a component of the IDOC Community Corrections Grant Application Process.
In April 2016, the Indiana Judicial Center completed a recertification audit of the Allen Superior Re-Entry Court Program at ACCC. The Re-Entry Court Program recertification was renewed for three years.
In Spring 2016, Problem-Solving Courts Case Manager Kyle Keuneke was awarded the Allen County Civil Service Award for his demonstrated exemplary service to one of his clients. He was recognized before his peers and later during the Allen County Board of Commissioners Legislative Session in April.
On October 1, 2016, ACCC launched a newly reorganized Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (CBT) Marketplace. ACCC made the decision to collaborate with local treatment providers to effectively deliver services to the existing participants in ACCC’s Substance Abuse program and discontinued in-house outpatient treatment services. Community providers assumed ownership and responsibility for the operation of addictions services for all participants enrolled with ACCC prior to October 1, 2016.
In an effort to meet participant responsivity needs, ACCC added the Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) program, a CBT-based program for high and moderate-risk participants (listed on SAMHSA’s National Registry for Evidence-Based Programs & Practices [NREPP]). For lower-risk participants, ACCC began offering the Courage to Change (C2C) Interactive Journals, a well-established intervention that is tailored to target the criminogenic needs identified by an IRAS assessment. These two (2) programs join the Thinking for a Change (T4C 4.0) program offered to higher-risk participants through the marketplace. ACCC also introduced public and private healthcare navigation services through a partnership with Park Center and Claim-Aid. ACCC also found it prudent to involve Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health in the marketplace process, who weekly offers free information/education on STDs and on-site testing.
2017-2018 Collaboration Plan, Allen County, Indiana – The Allen County Sheriff joined Allen County Community Corrections and the Allen County Adult Probation department in the publication of the Allen County Collaboration Plan, a required component of the Indiana Department of Correction Community Corrections Grant Application for fiscal year 2017-18. The Collaboration Plan is an effort to formally describe methods of interagency cooperation in local correctional services in a manner visible to the State of Indiana.
ACCC received a nomination for the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award by two (2) of its employees in FY16-17. This particular award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their support of employees who serve in the National Guard and Armed Forces Reserves.
ACCC received grant funding for each of the three (3) Problem-Solving Courts through the Indiana Supreme Court for FY17-18. In order to mitigate any delay of eligibility and coverage from Recovery Works, ACCC began a pilot program to cover intake fees associated with placement in transitional living facilities.
ACCC received grant funding from the Drug & Alcohol Consortium (DAC) to fund tangible incentives for felony-level participants supervised by the agency. These incentives include bus passes, gift cards to restaurants, and tokens to reward positive behavioral change and eventual completion of supervision. Problem-Solving Courts participants received a similar grant supported by the Indiana Supreme Court.
In FY16-17, ACCC completed its second year of direct observations for the facilitation of CBT curriculums. The direct observations are supervised by the Quality Assurance Division and typically actuated by the CBT/Clinical Division supervisors. Feedback is formally provided to each facilitator and is included as collateral for annual performance evaluations as evidence of EBP Competencies.
The Quality Assurance Division also completed another year operating an Indiana Risk Assessment System (IRAS) Direct Observation program in conjunction with an Inter-rater Reliability activity. Both programs provide the agency the opportunity to collect valuable measurements describing the degree of concordance between IRAS assessors and providing specific attention to areas of weakest performance.
UDS Technician Kevin Hambrick is awarded the Allen County Civil Service Award by the Allen County Board of Commissioners. Mr. Hambrick is the second ACCC staff member to receive the designation.
In October 2017, Programs Facilitator Ryan Meredith participated in the 80-week leadership development curriculum for Criminal Justice professionals, sponsored by the Indiana Department of Correction.
The Joint Allen County Veterans Court of the Allen Circuit and Superior Courts held a graduation ceremony on November 9, 2017 at 11:00am in the Allen Circuit Court. City of Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry served as the Honored Guest Speaker for the ceremony that marked another completion of an intensive program designed to connect veterans suffering from substance abuse and/or mental health disorders with the benefits and treatment earned from their service. “The Joint Veterans Court is having a tremendous impact on our community and the Veterans who have so honorably served us. I am proud to be part of the treatment team and look forward to continuing this great work,” stated Circuit Court Judge Tom Felts.
In February, an ACCC work crew helped the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health move records out of a building to allow renovations. This was the second time Community Corrections crews have been engaged for similar work at this site. The Department of Health was very grateful for the “heavy lifting” assistance.
ACCC’s Community Service Division renegotiated a new partnership with the Community Harvest Food Bank. This continues a long history of service by Community Corrections to help the needy, by providing helping hands.
Allen County Community Corrections’ partnership with the Allen County Department of Environmental Management continued to flourish as participants assisted their crew on a weekly basis throughout the year with their hazardous materials recycling drop-off program. This facility and the work being there done by ACCC work crews exemplifies the great networking and great work being done through ACCC’s Community Service Division.
The Community Service Division notably secured new memoranda of understanding with the following offices/organizations, continuously off-setting costs to employers and tax-payers: Fort Wayne Fleet Management, Shepherds House, Fort Wayne/Allen County Health Department, Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control, and Invisible Vets Limited.
Carey Guides and Brief Intervention Tools (BITs) Effective Intervention Training – All ACCC Case Managers completed certification and training on how to effectively administer the Carey Guides and BITs. On August 28, 2018, Allen County Community Corrections contracted with Erin King, of the Carey Group, Inc., to provide ACCC customized case management training involving direct observations of staff and desk audits with individual feedback.
With great sadness, ACCC lost a dear friend and co-worker, long-time Assistant Director, Edward D. Harris Sr. Mr. Harris passed away on Sunday, August 19, 2018, at 59 years of age. Just prior to his passing, in July 2018, after thirty-two (32) years of dedicated service, Mr. Harris retired as Assistant Director of ACCC. Since 1985, Ed served ACCC in a variety of ways, holding positions such as Surveillance Officer, Home Detention Coordinator, and Assistant Director, a position he occupied for the last twenty-two (22) years. During his time with ACCC, Ed felt that he focused predominantly on serving the citizens of Allen County and helping program participants make significant changes in their lives. He also devoted his efforts to providing direction and guidance to many of the agency’s staff.
Implementation of In-House Shoplifting/Theft Intervention Program – In a continual effort to meet participant responsivity needs, ACCC expanded its in-house services by implementing an additional intervention program, titled Something for Nothing (SFN), targeted toward participants with shoplifting/theft-related charges. The SFN program enhanced Community Corrections program offerings that included Courage to Change (C2C), Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT), and Thinking for a Change (T4C 4.0) programs. All in-house programming are tailored interventions targeted to participants’ individualized criminogenic needs, as identified by an IRAS assessment. Community Corrections CBT Marketplace process also involves ClaimAid, a healthcare eligibility navigation service company, and the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health offering education/information on STDs and free, optional on-site testing and vaccinations.
All divisions of ACCC began administering quarterly participant satisfaction surveys, generated and tabulated by the Continuous Quality Assurance & Improvement (CQI) Division, formerly the Quality Assurance Division, in effort to measure intra-divisional performance, identify areas of strengths and shortcomings, and provide feedback to staff at all levels in all positions. First quarter satisfaction surveys were administered and tabulated just prior to the end of FY17-18 and support Community Corrections’ Program Facilitators assertions that the addition of SFN has been well-received.
Near the end of FY17-18, ACCC began initiatives to transition from its currently utilized Case Management System (CMS) database to the new state case management software system, Trial Court Technology’s (TCT) Supervised Release System (SRS), which will be in ingratiation of almost all judiciary/criminal justice applications/programs into one. The official launch of Allen County Community Corrections version occurred September 17-18, 2018. Community Corrections retains its former database, CMS, for historical reference and statistics for the current operational periods.
In September 2018, ACCC’s Programs/Clinical Division introduced the use of the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG) as a new diagnostic tool that assesses the risk of further violence among men or women who have committed violent offenses. The Programs/ Clinical Division also obtained certification to conduct the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment (ODARA), which is a tool that identifies the future risk of domestic violence.
In November 2018, with the Honorable Thomas J. Felts and Honorable Frances C. Gull serving as the Supervising Judges of the local Veterans Court Programs, twelve (12) veterans were honored with a graduation ceremony for having successfully completed the intensive Veterans Court Program. Initially designed to connect veterans suffering with substance abuse and/or mental health disorders with benefits and treatment earned from service, the program decreases the likelihood of re-offending and remaining in the criminal justice system, as many of the graduates faced incarceration due to their struggles. Combined, nearly 986 hours of treatment and classes were completed by the 12 graduates; and since its beginning in 2014, a total of 49 Hoosier veterans have successfully graduated from the Veterans Court Program.
In November 2018, ACCC received an exemplary score of 96% on its Performance-Based site assessment, conducted by the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC), which evaluated the following within the agency: organizational sustainment of Evidence-Based Practices, use of assessment tools, effective staff-participant interaction, continuum of programming, quality assurance, and agency reporting.
Culminating in December 2018, ACCC participated in an extensive organizational restructuring in an effort to more effectively and efficiently supervise its higher-risk populations. ACCC accomplished a consolidation from thirteen (13) operational divisions down to only seven (7) and was successful in upgrading a series of part-time positions, that have historically worked 40-hours per week, into fully benefitted, full-time positions.
After thirty (30) years of dedicated service, Allen Superior Court Judge John F. Surbeck, Jr. retired on December 31, 2018. Judge David Zent, a former Allen Superior Court magistrate, was chosen to replace Judge Surbeck and serve out the remainder of his term, which expired in 2020. Judge Zent assumed responsibility for the administration of the Allen Superior Re-Entry Court.
The Allen Superior Re-Entry Court and Allen Circuit Restoration Court programs both completed successful recertifications by the Indiana Office of Court Services in spring of 2019—Allen Circuit Veterans Court Program completed successful recertification in December 2018—each led by Problem Solving Courts (PSC) Coordinator, Mallory Kuter. All state-certified problem-solving courts require extensive review and recertification every three (3) years.
ACCC joined Allen Superior Court, Allen County Jail, Allen County Adult Probation Department (ACAP), Criminal Division Services (CDS), and the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office, along with others from various county agencies, as stakeholders in Allen County’s bond pilot program committed to reviewing the effectiveness and safety rates of the release programs.
ACCC has been an integral participating agency in the Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 510 pilot program as its role as a referral source and its data collection processes, along with Allen County Adult Probation (ACAP), and Allen Superior Court Criminal Division Services (CDS). The four-year pilot study was designed to assist criminal justice-involved participants in accessing treatment to manage and treat their mental health and/or substance abuse via evidence-based treatment by expanding the number of available sober in-patient and transitional living beds in Allen County through SEA 510 legislation. The project also involves the academic evaluation of the integrity and impact of these treatments and requires the submission of data and reports at various intervals to the Indiana General Assembly’s Legislative Council that address a number of programmatic outcomes.
In FY18-19, as required by the Indiana Department of Correction, ACCC developed five (5) quantifiable performance measures to track, evaluate, and report during the fiscal year that described appropriate organizational functioning. ACCC prepared a midterm and end-of-year report demonstrating that ACCC had either met or exceeded all performance-related goals as published.
- 100% of Case Managers achieve proficiency rating on the Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity – a direct observation exercise conducted by ACCC’s CQI Coordinator and Motivational Interviewing Trainer.
- ACCC will endeavor to open lines of communication with local commercial housing entities in attempt to increase the availability of stable, appropriate housing for our participants.
- A minimum of 32% of appropriate participants that engage in the case planning process receive incentives and sanctions at a ratio of four (4) incentives to every one (1) sanction by the end of participant’s supervision.
- Increase the percent (%) of offenders convicted of Domestic Battery, or domestic related Invasion of Privacy, Strangulation, or Stalking, who are assessed using a Violence Assessment Tool (ODARA or VRAG) from 0% to 50%.
- Enhance the use of evidence-based tools in the agency supervision process, by increasing the utilization of the Carey Guides and BITS by 25%
After an extensive search, ACCC welcomed Danielle Edenfield as its newest Assistant Director at the end of March 2019. Ms. Edenfield joined ACCC from the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office, where she served for approximately twenty (20) years, serving her last ten (10) years as Chief Investigator.
In a continual effort to meet participant responsivity needs, ACCC contracted with consultant Heather Jeffries, Director of Criminal Justice at the University of Saint Francis, to evaluate operations and outcomes of their in-house CBT programs during calendar years 2017-2019. Following Ms. Jeffries’ evaluation and recommendations to appropriately satisfy clients’ needs and fill classes to optimal capacity, ACCC implemented changes to its class availabilities and weekly schedule in 2019.
ACCC facilitated a pilot project in May 2019 to gradually plan for the utilization of Trial Court Technology’s (TCT) Supervised Release System (SRS) software for tracking attendance for ACCC’s CBT-based in-house programs. TCT completed its development of the “attendance module” in Spring 2019. The adoption of the new module resulted in reductions in the time required among facilitators to manage data entry.
As a means to increase efficiency and accountability for those participants on GPS electronic monitoring, a new weekly schedule policy was enacted in January 2020, permitting clients to leave as long as their weekly schedule has been submitted on time and approved.
Replacing the Something for Nothing (SFN) program, implemented in FY17-18 upon the request of the Allen County Superior Court Misdemeanor Division and the Prosecutor’s Pre-Trial Diversion Program, ACCC introduced the Theft Awareness Class (TAC) in early 2020 as a continual effort to meet participant responsivity needs. The TAC program is targeted toward participants with current shoplifting/theft-related charges, just as SFN was, and utilizes the Change Companies’ Readiness to Change curriculum as its new foundation for the class.
ACCC adjusted its operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020, lasting throughout the balance of fiscal year 2020. As an essential service provider, all ACCC Rules and Special Conditions remained in full force. Early and routine efforts were made by ACCC management to follow all available directives and guidance provided by the local Board of Health, the Indiana State Department of Health, the CDC, and through Governor’s Executive Orders. These updates were used to guide all facets of ACCC’s operations and were regularly shared with all ACCC staff. As such, ACCC management identified some administrative staff positions who could take leave and/or work from home, and further rotated staff shifts to provide for increased distancing in our crowded Day Reporting Center workspaces. In addition to altered work schedules, plexiglass partitions were placed in open-area workspaces and meeting areas where individual screenings for supervision were conducted in lieu of group screenings. Large in-person meetings, trainings, and conferences were postponed or attended virtually. A significant amount of Personal Protective Equipment was purchased and provided to staff, including, cloth masks, goggles, face shields, N95 masks and gloves. Enhanced environmental cleaning efforts were launched to include daily cleaning of workspaces and all shared spaces throughout ACCC facilities; efforts which have remained in place to present day. It was also during this time that ACCC’s urine drug screen system added an additional tool of oral swab tests to supplement urine drug screens. ACCC’s Clinical/Programs Division created a home study course that was implemented in April in which participants received their assignments virtually and worked through their lessons from home. These virtual programs continue to be offered as appropriate, despite ACCC resuming in person classes on June 1, 2020. It was also during this time ACCC consistently updated its website during the public health emergency, detailing pertinent agency information. The Client Services Division developed a resource guide for participants that was also posted on the website and updated over the course of 2020 that consisted of contact and operational information related to the FSSA, Recovery Works, Child Care Assistance, Child Support, Virtual Employment Opportunities, Utility Assistance, and other resources. ACCC commended all of its staff for all their diligence in adhering to recommended protocols during the pandemic.
In June of 2020, ACCC added a sixth class to its menu of program offerings in the CBT Marketplace to include a violence abatement curriculum, titled Alternatives to Violence. The ATV program is a gender-divided interpersonal violence intervention with a ten (10) lesson curriculum consisting of a workbook and four (4) interactive journals covering the following topics: Anger, Self-Control, Readiness to Change, and Violence Intervention.
After months of analysis, planning, and preparation, a Title 35 Residential Services program was launched under the supervision of ACCC, in response to the significant need for residential placement in Allen County, particularly in terms of sentencing and alternative rehabilitative methods/services. ACCC opened the doors to Community Corrections Residential Services (CCRS) on August 25th, 2020, to serve the local courts by providing stable residential housing. The program serves as an alternative to incarceration for individuals ordered by the Allen Circuit or Superior Courts, direct placement as a sanction or alternative to revocation and incarceration. Twenty (20) new staff members attended and completed a five-week training academy prior to the facility’s opening—totaling nearly 200 training hours—consisting of Eight (8) Principles of Effective Intervention, Effective Communication/Motivational Strategies and Motivational Interviewing, Emergency Response Training, Defensive Tactics, and GPS Unit Management, to name several. In support of Residential operations, 125 unique policies were developed and implemented to guide this new level of programming and supervision. CCRS placements may also be used by local Courts as a last stop prior to ordering the participant to the Indiana Department of Correction. Individuals returning to the Allen County community through the Community Transitions Program (CTP) may also be placed at the residential facility when individuals do not have suitable housing options. Program participants are subject to 24-hours a day supervision through residential placement, which may include GPS supervision while in the community, individualized case plans guided by the Mark Carey Guides/BITS, individual in-house cognitive behavioral therapy interventions and a schedule of targeted rehabilitative services assigned based upon the results of the IRAS Risk/Needs Assessment as well as a myriad of other internal assessments and any other special conditions of placement that have been ordered by the Court.
The Joint Allen County Veterans Court of the Allen Circuit and Superior courts held a graduation ceremony at the University of Saint Francis on November 12, 2020 to honor nine veterans completing the program. The ceremony marked the completion of an intensive program designed to connect veterans suffering from substance abuse and/or mental health disorders with the benefits and treatment they have earned. The Allen County Joint Veterans Court is a judicially supervised court docket that reduces correctional costs, protects community safety, and improves public welfare. Dr. Clifford Buttram, Jr. of the University of Saint Francis was the Honored Guest Speaker for the ceremony.
After more than thirty (30) years of dedicated service as a judicial officer and serving the last eighteen (18) presiding over the Allen Circuit Court, Judge Thomas J. Felts retired on December 31, 2020. Prior to being elected to the bench in 2002, succeeding Judge Thomas L. Ryan, Judge Felts served as Magistrate of the Circuit Court’s Family Relations Division from 1989 until December 2002. Succeeding Judge Felts on January 1, 2020, The Honorable Wendy W. Davis was elected to the bench to assume responsibility for the administration of the Allen Circuit Court, following nine (9) years of service as Judge in the Allen Superior Court Criminal Division.
The ACCC Advisory Board approved the motion to serve in an additional capacity as the Local Justice Reinvestment Advisory Council (JRAC) Board, as it pertains to House Enrolled Act 1068 (HEA 1068). The overarching responsibility of the Local JRAC is to investigate all aspects of the local criminal justice system, ensuring the utilization and promotion of evidence-based practices and community-based alternatives. The committee’s work will largely involve generating recommendations for tackling jail overcrowding upon review and evaluation of all local criminal justice programs, including all of ACCC’s programs, Allen County Problem Solving Courts, Alcohol Abuse Deterrent Program, Allen County Adult Probation, Criminal Division Services, Pretrial Services through Allen Superior Court, Pretrial Diversion through the Allen County, and local treatment and recovery services.
The local United Front Initiative was a citywide initiative built by a group of Fort Wayne organizational leaders, with the goal of attaining diversity, unity, equity, and organizational transformation; and fostering meaningful conversations in the community about race, equity, and inclusion. ACCC enrolled its management groups in the United Front Initiative offered by Fort Wayne United, with all ACCC’s eligible managers having successfully engaged and completed the curriculum in 2021.
The Clinical/CBT Programs division onboarded a new Park Center Liaison into the CBT Marketplace Orientation process and collaborated with Park Center, Inc./Parkview Behavioral Health Institute to incorporate two licensed therapists into the DRC orientation to provide immediate, on-site mental health/substance abuse assessments for participants.
The Clinical/CBT Programs division began providing Full Forensic Evaluations for all Pretrial/CAST participants within 27 days of intake to more accurately identify underlying mental health and substance abuse concerns that could qualify them for Restoration Court or Veterans Court.
The ACCC Residential Services Division witnessed immense growth since its opening on August 25, 2020. And to support and sustain the residential facility’s growth and continued operations, twelve (12) Residential Services Officer positions and one (1) new Residential Services Officer Shift Supervisor position were approved in September 2021 by Allen County Council to staff the facility to capacity. Remaining committed to the agency’s subscription to EBPs for effective intervention and positive outcomes, particularly the practice of increasing positive reinforcement(s), ACCC also expanded its variety of recreational incentive offerings to participants at Residential Services to include seasonal fishing and Xbox video game time. The Allen County Public Library also generously donated 150 books to ACCC’s book cart in circulation at the Residential Facility. ACCC also added additional services to offer to participants at the Residential Facility, including a weekly voluntary gospel-centered video series conducted by Marvin Vastbinder of Faith Based Mentoring Ministries, voluntary weekly religious services led by Assistant Jail Chaplain Elisha Harris on-site, as well as a 21-week virtual lecture series hosted weekly by Purdue Fort Wayne (PFW) which covers career and life skills, leadership, positive workplace behaviors, and an overview of academic programs offered by PFW at no cost to participants or the agency. Additionally, the Clinical/CBT Programs division designed and implemented a new “Finance and Budgeting” class at the Residential Facility to teach participants money management basics, create individualized budgets that can be shared with their case manager, and assist in identifying risky thought patterns and behaviors regarding money.
ACCC successfully met all five (5) of its Performance Measures in CY2021. ACCC achieved its targeted performance in the following areas:
- ACCC met the goal ensuring all trained Case Mangers reached Motivational Interviewing proficiency in 2021.
- CCRS staff achieved and widely exceeded the year-end goal of incentives delivered to participants in 2021.
- ACCC staff ensured that CCRS participants were placed in appropriate programming and met the goal of those participants scheduled to begin class within 14 days of their marketplace orientation.
- ACCC’s eligible and active managers engaged and completed 100% of the United Front Initiative curriculum offered in 2021.
- ACCC’s Field Division increased their face-to-face contacts by 18% in 2021 compared to 2020 and exceeded the goal of a 10% increase.
The IDOC financial audit for calendar year 2020 was completed successfully without findings.
On the morning of November 12, 2021, with the Honorable Wendy W. Davis and Honorable Frances C. Gull serving as Supervising Judges of the local Veterans Court Programs, the Joint Allen County Veterans Court of the Allen Circuit and Superior Courts held their eighth graduation ceremony to honor fifteen (15) veterans completing the program. The ceremony commemorated the completion of an intensive program designed to connect justice-involved veterans, suffering from substance abuse and/or mental health disorders, with earned benefits and treatment earned from military service. The Allen County Joint Veterans Court is a judicially supervised court docket that reduces correctional costs, protects community safety, and improves public welfare. The Honorable Douglas Fahl, Lieutenant Colonel of the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corp and presiding Judge of Whitley County Superior Court, served as the Honored Guest Speaker for the program’s eighth graduation ceremony.