The East Central Indiana Regional Planning District received $25,000 from the Delaware County Redevelopment Commission as well as $5,000 from the Ball Brothers Foundation to help fund the Judicial Users Manufacturing Partnership Program (JUMP Program). The JUMP Program is a joint project with the Delaware County Courts Probation Department, IVY Tech Community College, and other companies and manufacturers in the Industria Centre Economic Development Area to fund the transition of individuals that are a part of the Delaware County criminal justice system and help reform their behavior in order to work as productive members of society. Other key goals of the program include: connecting affected populations with more diverse opportunities to achieve self-supporting independence, developing and cultivating a more robust inter-agency cooperative in the justice system, reducing costs to taxpayers and the judicial system by diverting individuals to opportunity, reducing stagnation of unpaid costs, restitution or fees on pending user accounts and child support cases, and launching a longitudinal partnership between the justice system and the Delaware County community.
An estimated 100 clients of any age will join the six-month-long program every month and this will also address labor shortages in the area by employing prisoners going through rehabilitation which will especially help employers who lost employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers, academic institutions, and probation officers will be working together to support and give three chances to clients of the program while helping them get their life back on track.
The JUMP Program will help reform behavior by implementing rules to stay on the right course. Probation Officer John Bush will be checking in and will be contacted if JUMP Program members break the three-strike rule, for example, if a member were to fail a drug test or skip work then a strike will be added to their record.
Not only will clients be able to keep their jobs after the program is completed but they will also be given education through IVY Tech and certification in manufacturing. Over 25 businesses will participate in the program and the jobs will mostly be in manufacturing. A few of the companies involved in the program include CANPACK, Magna PowerTrain, Ken-Bar, Mursix, Muncie Power Products, and Muncie Novelty.
Probation Officer John Bush has been working on making the JUMP Program happen for a long time. He has a passion for helping rehabilitated prisoners feel like normal people again and giving them opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise have. He cares about them and wants them to succeed. A good way to do that is to provide employment and education to keep them motivated to stay on the right path. The plan is to start the program in Delaware County and transition into making it a state-wide program. The program has been approved by judges in the county, but there is yet to be a set timeline or application process as some details still need to be worked out.
We will be sure to share more information as it comes available.