By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — Seven men graduated from Kosciusko County’s Jail Chemical Addiction Program (JCAP) during a ceremony on Thursday, April 14.
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. The program has a 59% success rate.
Graduates from Kosciusko County’s 11th JCAP class were: Travis Mrozinski, Kyle Najacht, Tyler Sherrill, Benjamin Stogsdill, Kevin Stuckman, Eric Swick, and Bruce Yeazel. At the ceremony, the men wore blue T-shirts with “Better Than I Ever Was” printed on the back of them.
A packed room of mentors and supporters attended the event. During the ceremony, the seven men focused their speeches on thanking those who provided them with mentoring, teaching and programming in their JCAP experience.
Yeazel complimented each of his fellow graduates in a speech, referring to the class as his “brothers in arms.”
“This group, we’re stronger than a wolf pack,” said Yeazel. “I love you all and let’s make our actions a reality.”
The graduates also thanked JCAP Coordinator Courtney Jenkins for her fight and determination to better their lives.
“When someone saves someone else’s life, they consider them a hero,” said Yeazel. “Well, you’re my hero.”
“None of this would have been possible without you and I can never thank you enough for the opportunity you’ve given me,” said Sherrill about Jenkins. “You believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. You’re the first person I share my successes with and it’s so nice to finally make someone proud. JCAP truly changed my life and I’m so thankful for the chance you’ve given me. Thank you for teaching me I’m no longer an addict.”
All graduates but Sherrill received CPR certification cards at the ceremony. Jenkins said Sherrill did not attend the CPR class since he left the jail early. He has been residing at a sober living facility in Indianapolis for the last three weeks.
Five of the seven graduates will soon be entering the county’s work release program.
Jenkins thanked the community, Kosciusko County Sheriff Kyle Dukes, Jail Commander Shane Coney, and her husband for their support of the JCAP program.
“As a community, we’re really growing together,” said Jenkins. “We are turning out quality individuals who are ready and able to contribute to their community.”
“To run a successful JCAP program, you have to find yourself a Courtney Jenkins,” said Dukes.
Following the graduates’ speeches, Jenkins; Dukes; Coney; and Derek Bruner, Chase Burnau, and Travis Henson, graduates from previous JCAP classes, presented the men with their certificates of completion.
Community organizations and individuals who contributed to programming for April’s graduating class were Beaman Home; Before5.org; Combined Community Services; CORE Mechanical; Corporal Skyler Holsclaw; Deputy Steve Watkins; DreamOn Studios; Don Halvorsen; Don Swartzentruber; Fellowship Missions; 1st Source Bank; Ivy Tech Community College; New Life Christian Church and World Outreach; Purdue Extension Office; Quality Correctional Care; Tabitha Gabbard; Tyler Silveus; Warsaw Adult Education; Warsaw Community Schools; WorkOne; and Work Force Education.