ELKHART — The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department received a $23,674 grant from the Elkhart County Community Foundation. The department plans on using the money to reduce recidivism, or the re-arresting of individuals who have already been incarcerated.
The grant funds will be used specifically for improving inmate educational programs offered at the Correctional Complex.
Data collected during an evaluation of the department’s inmate programs in January 2012 showed that inmates who were not enrolled or participating in classes experienced a recidivism rate of 49 percent. Inmates who completed programs, such as anger management, GED programs and substance abuse, experienced recidivism rates between 17 and 26 percent. Because the financial education class showed the lowest rate at 17 percent, the grant funds will be used to help offer that class more often. Leadership kits and student workbooks will be purchased as well.
The grant will also be used to purchase projectors, laptops and supplemental videos to help instructors address the varying learning styles of each inmate in the educational programs.
Educational books will be purchased for the inmate library, which will be upgraded and computerized.
The goal of reducing recidivism is to reduce the amount of crime in Elkhart County.