CITY OF MARION, IN
Mayor Ron Mowery

SHOCAP/SAFEPOLICY

1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.

This program addresses violence prevention and promotes school safety in four ways:

First, The SHOCAP component is based on national statistics that show that a small number of habitual juvenile offenders commit a disproportionate amount of crime. These repeat offenders have not been significantly impacted by normal services provided by the juvenile justice system. Their behavioral choices continue with the committing of delinquent acts. Thus, the program requires informed decisions be made based on shared information from all sources which are intended to control the juveniles delinquent behavior.

The program requires that criteria be established in the multi-agency setting. This criteria identifies the "worst of the worst." Once a juvenile offender obtains this "SHOCAP" status the system is required to handle this juvenile in a controlling manner. The choice behavior of the "SHOCAP" offender requires that discretion be removed from the system. The "SHOCAP" offender's action plan is designed to control delinquent behavior in every setting in which the juvenile is involved, including home, school, probation, and by law enforcement. Without this controlling intervention, the juvenile offender is likely to continue a criminal career as an adult.

Second, The Screening Team is the body which actually works on the at risk list and discusses individual cases and action plans. The members of this team are selected by the agency. Traditional members are vice or associate principals, school attendance personnel, school counselors, probation officers and school resource police officers. This body is the first line forum to exchange information. The "at risk" list is reviewed, individual cases are discussed and referrals made. Action plans designed for specific issues are outlined and enacted.

Third, The Executive Board is the body, which provides direction and support to the program. While the Chief Executive Officer of each agency is the actual representative to the board, it is more practical for each to appoint a member. The board will also include the SHOCAP Project Director. The selected members are to be top level managers in their respective agency. Traditionally school principals, office managers, area heads, or division commanders.

Fourth, The SafeFutures Care Coordination Team is a body of counseling, housing, job sources, agencies, schools, placement, social services, and probation services that come together to recommend to the Juvenile Referee the services that the child and the family need to function in an acceptable manner.

2. When was the program created and why?

Beginning in May of 1995 the staff of agencies who provide services to juveniles in Grant County sat down to talk. Each agreed that the issues of "at risk" youth, juvenile delinquency, and habitual offenders were community problems, and these problems could only be effectively addressed by a community based cooperative effort. This cooperative effort would only be effective if it were to include schools, prosecutor, probation, police, juvenile court, welfare, and parole. To insure success the broader base of all agencies providing juvenile services would need to be included.

The lack of timely communication of information was one of the causes of ineffective action. Most students in trouble either by academic or disciplinary standards at school were also receiving attention from another non-school agency. A strategy and forum to address issues was lacking in the system. Other resources found in another area or agency can offset the lack of resources in one area. Effective suppression of certain habitual offenders could impact the total of juvenile delinquency. These habitual offenders are responsible for a disproportional amount of juvenile crime.

The need for a coordination of information, communication and the management of the habitual offender (SHO) cases establishes a definite justification for a position to coordinate the collaboration of this project to ensure services to both the "at risk" and habitual offender. This effort will reflect a reduction in juvenile crime and create a safer community.

 3. How do you measure the program's effectiveness?

We measure the programs effectiveness by counting the number of repeat offenders and the seriousness of the offenses of those that have gone through the SafeFutures Care Team is one means of measuring effectiveness. In addition, we use self-reporting by participant agencies to judge the degree and effectiveness of shared information.

4. How is the program financed?

This program is financed by a Grant from the Indiana Department of Corrections for approximately $32,000.00 to cover the cost of the Program Coordinator.

5. How is the community involved in the program, if at all? How has the community responded to the program?

The community is very involved in this program. Without community involvement this program cannot be effective. A memorandum of commitment between Grant County Community Corrections, Correctional Services, Juvenile Court, Grant County Prosecutor, Grant County Sheriff, Marion Police, Office of Family and Children, Eastbrook Schools, Madison Grant Schools, Marion Schools, Mississinewa Schools, Oak Hill Schools and human service providers has been signed by the agencies above to be involved in SHOCAP/ SAFEPOLICY.

6. What are major lessons learned from the program?

With a blanket order from the Superior Court II Judge authorizing the exchange of information, we found that the sharing of information was advantageous to all parties. The SHOCAP part of the program kept serious habitual offenders off the streets, either by monitoring or detention. This happened because of the collaboration of schools, law enforcement, and probation.

The SAFEPOLICY part of the program allowed school personnel to share with probation officers information on juveniles that previously would have slipped through the legal system because important information that someone had was not known by law enforcement or probation. With this information the juvenile was held accountable for the offense. Information that would normally take 2-3 days to reach parties involved can now be accessed immediately. Information sharing via computer by detention, schools, and probation has allowed all parties to better respond to the juvenile’s circumstances.

The SafeFutures Care Team Meetings has been instrumental in making effective recommendations to the courts. As the involvement of agencies grew, it has made the SafeFutures Program an integral part in the legal sentencing of juveniles that are brought to the SafeFutures team before the Pre-Disposistional Report is presented to the Courts. We believe this meeting of service providers has reduced the placement of juveniles in DOC.

7. Contact person:

Gary Dalton, SHOCAP/SAFEPOLICY Coordinator

401 South Adams street

Marion, IN 46953

Phone 765-668-6528 Ext. 104

Fax 765-668-4242

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