Speaker for the evening was Darke County Probation Officer Katy Linkous, who gave an informative presentation on the probation process, zeroing in on HB 86, which allows a judge to offer prison time versus probation; treatment instead of jail.
When people opt for probation, “I give them a list of things to do, literally a ‘to-do” list that they must do,” said Linkous. Elements include receiving treatment and making restitution. Mentors for both men and women are also an important part of the process.
For the women, a program introduced through the Ginghamsburg Church, “Journey to Freedom” is used. Journey to Freedom volunteer Carolyn Garver said the program focuses on body, mind and spirit, offering a commitment to a new lifestyle.
The men are offered a chance to take part in men’s fraternity program led through a men’s group from the Castine Church of the Brethren. The curriculum concerns the relationship between the men and their wives, sons and daughters. The 10 week program allows the offenders to ‘work on a manhood plan.’
Those who successfully complete the program can have the felony tossed, and hopefully, re-enter society as a better person, without the stigma of a felony conviction.
|Katy Linkous, Annie Sonner and Becky James, Director of Children Services, Darke County Job and Family Services. (Roseberry photo)|