By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — Eight men graduated from Kosciusko County’s Jail Chemical Addiction Program (JCAP) during a ceremony on Friday, June 17.
JCAP was launched in 2018 to address substance abuse issues suffered by many jail inmates and involves participation in classes that cover areas such as physical fitness, spirituality, life skills, leadership and financial counseling.
Graduates from Kosciusko County’s 12th JCAP class were: Marcus Brooks, Jeremy Flores, Derrick Gasaway, Christopher Konkle, William Moore, Chet Olson, Billy Joe Pearson, and Micheal Trosper. Gasaway was unable to attend the ceremony in-person due to handling out-of-county court matters this week.
At the ceremony, the men wore pink T-shirts with “JCAP 2022 Graduate” printed on the front. A packed room of mentors, supporters and community members attended the graduation.
JCAP Coordinator Courtney Jenkins said the 12th graduating class has shown significant growth, handling challenges with maturity and grace.
“We’ve been really encouraged by their hard work, their dedication to the program, to each other and to themselves for bettering their future,” said Jenkins to the mentors about the graduates. “Where they started from to where they are now has been a big gap. They have filled that gap with all of the great things that you have poured into them.”
Jenkins thanked the mentors, her husband, Kosciusko County Sheriff Kyle Dukes, Jail Commander Shane Coney, and jail staff for their support of the JCAP program.
“As they’ve seen people go through the program and change their lives, they see that it’s necessary,” said Jenkins about the jail staff’s support. “Earlier this week, I walked into central command and two jailers were talking about this particular group of men and how far they’ve come. They pointed out Jeremy Flores and said, ‘He is an entirely different person.’ To hear the jailers really praise them for their progress and hard work is incredibly encouraging.”
During the ceremony, the seven men in attendance focused their speeches on those who provided them with mentoring, teaching and programming through JCAP.
JCAP Graduate Christopher Konkle thanked Terry Johnson, who taught relational first aid to the graduates, for the difference he’s made in his life.
“I’m so proud to call Terry both a friend and a brother,” said Konkle.
All graduates received CPR certification cards from Corporal Skyler Holsclaw. They also received certificates of completion from Dukes and Coney. Each graduate personally thanked Jenkins for the impact she’s made on their lives.
Community organizations and individuals who contributed to programming for June’s graduating class were Tyler Silveus, personal development; Cynthia Thomas, GED class; Lindsay Foster and Diane Shoppell, parenting class; Tim Traxler, Inside Out Dad; Deputy Steve Watkins, Smart Recovery; Matthew Graham, Quality Correctional Care; Allison Berger, 1st Source Bank; Tim Van Duyne, WorkForce education; Bobby Wilson, CORE Mechanical; Terry Johnson, relational first aid; Shanna Atteberry, life skills; Felanny Perez Cuevas, Bowen Center; Lake City Bank; Melanie Wilhite and Heidi Blake, W.A.I.T.; Don Swartzentruber, art class; Tabitha Gabbard, Seeking Study; The Beaman Home; Jeff Glock and Jamie Bowers, Bible study; Corporal Skyler Holsclaw, CPR; and Luke Neer, fitness.