WARSAW — On Oct. 5, the Kosciusko Leadership Academy cadets heard from four speakers, all from different parts of the judicial and law enforcement systems in Kosciusko.
Hon. Karin McGrath, Superior Court 1 judge, was appointed by Governor Holcomb to fill the post vacated after the death of Judge David Cates. Judge McGrath spoke about challenges facing the judicial system in Kosciusko County. She also presented initiatives like the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) and Teen Court. These programs rehabilitate and solve root problems rather than just incarcerate. Judge McGrath is the first female judge in this county.
Hon. Christopher Kehler, judge for Superior Court 4 presented an overview and brief history of Kosciusko County’s judicial system which dates back to 1836. Kehler also spoke about Levi Lee, who was the county’s first judge and the namesake of Leesburg. Judge Kehler handles domestic and civil cases.
Courtney Jenkins presented an update of the Jail Chemical Addiction Program (JCAP). This Kosciusko county jail program provides inmates with a voluntary recovery program. The classes include anger management, parenting classes, finance, fitness programs, as well as addiction counseling. JCAP also helps the inmates in achieving certificate programs and their high school diploma. Since the start of the program in 2018, there have been 80 participants with over 50% successfully completing and exiting incarceration.
Warsaw Police Chief Scott Whitaker spoke about the challenges facing the police department and also about how Kosciusko County officers work together. He also noted Warsaw Police department has around 30 officers in an increasingly diversified team with three female and three bilingual officers.
The next KLA session will cover Human Services in Kosciusko County at the K21 Health Pavilion on Oct. 19.