Local offical leaving probation department to be full-time behavioral health court coordinator

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Josh Sipes

GREENFIELD — A local official will make a job change, leaving the county’s probation department to fully take on a position with the fairly new program under the behavioral health courts.

Hancock County Commissioners approved the request from the county’s behavioral health court to officially create a coordinator position to the program that started back in January 2022.

While Hancock County commissioners did approve the postion, the county council disscussed the idea of adding the position at the budget meeting this past Wednesday, and will further talk at the next council meeting with Judge D.J Davis, Superior Court 1, and Josh Snipes, the county’s chief probation officer.

Hancock County Council meetings are held the second Wednesday of every month.

Kevin Minnick, who will take the new position if approved, currently works as the program’s behavioral health court coordinator and at the county’s probation department.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to continue to serve Hancock County as the coordinator,” Minnick said. “And specifically be able to spend more of my time digging into the nuts and bolts of what a coordinator does for the court.”

Minnick’s current salary working at the probation department is $75,299, with $1,500 of that coming from the Hancock County probation fees. He agreed to take $68,000 to move over to solely being coordinator for the program.

Davis hopes Minnick can take the position full time starting the first pay period of July.

The program was started with the goal to address defendants’ core behavioral problems, have them treated and provide alternative solutions rather than having them pushed through the court systems without addressing the root of the problem.

Comparing this program to the drug court, Minnick said it takes a little time to get things started and is a few months away from really starting to see returns, but the council and commissioners have all been very supportive.

“I really appreciate the fact that they would see the benefit or at least believe in the benefit that this court can bring, ” Minnick said.

In the past 18 months the program has been active, they have had 22 people involved, one terminated and one graduated.

“It’s going very well,” Davis said. “We’ve seen the light turn on for many participants and we’re hoping to stop the revolving door over there at the jail.”

With Minnick being the behavioral health court coordinator, it will create an opening at the probation department, but the position won’t be posted until the switch is finalized.

He said that Snipes has been kind enough to give him plenty of leeway to be able to work with Davis for the court program.

One point Minnick made was how everyone has been very supportive, and that he believes this is not just for him, but for everyone.

“For me, it’s a big deal for all of us because there are a lot of people involved that don’t really get the credit for being a part of this.”