Lions Club Ward ByersWard Byers, Director of Operations of Marshall County Community Corrections presented an overview of the program to the Plymouth Lions Club.  Byers explained the STAME, (success through appropriate and meaningful employment) which has been in existence now for one year.  The Mission Statement for Community Corrections is to provide cost effective programs utilizing evidence based practices to generate positive change.

A risk assessment must first be completed to identify significant barriers for employment.  Community Corrections will sit down with employers and break down barriers for a good job.  Several employers in our community are currently working with them to provide defendants with a supervised work force.  There are several barriers for employment…criminal history, substance abuse, cognitive deficits, transportation, mental illness, low motivation, and child care.  However there are solutions:  Through the proper assessment they can target behavior that will likely contribute to future issues and by responding to these needs with treatment, education, social skill building, job skill building and employee preparation, defendants can find themselves in a positive workforce.

The goals of Marshall County Community Corrections and the STAME program are to promote job readiness and link clients to long term employment.  How do you achieve these goals?  Clients are staying and becoming long term employees.  Through collaboration, Community Corrections can provide the Marshall County industry with a workforce.  Marshall County industry can proved the needed jobs that provide;  Self worth, improved self esteem, financial independence, job skills, and in some cases employers can receive a work opportunity tax credit.

There are four important components of Community Corrections:  Home Detention/GPS electronic Monitoring, Jail Treatment Program, Scram remote Alcohol Breath Testing, and Community Transition Program.

The Plymouth Lions announced their annual Christmas Banquet for members and families, and made plans to place a Christmas tree at Miller’s Assisted Living for all to enjoy for the Holidays.  The District Governor will be present at the January meeting and discussions will begin for upcoming projects for the coming year as the Lions continue to fill the gaps when possible for those in need.  Our International President, Dr. Jung-Yul Choi stated that “As Lions, it’s our responsibility to help those who need us.  No one in our communities should wonder where their next meal is coming from. But whenever possible, we should look beyond the short-term fixes.  Yes, we should stock food pantries and man soup kitchens.  But we should also look at the bigger picture.  What is causing our neighbors to be hungry?  And how can we, as Lions, help change the odds for families that are struggling.”

As you plan your holiday meals, think of ways our community could be better serving everyone…..As Lions WE SERVE!

Provided by Lions Club Member Susan Eggleston