‘A systems change’

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The Michigan City News-Dispatch on 10/19/2017 by Ben Davis

When current La Porte Circuit Court Judge Tom Alevizos came to the bench in 2007, he noticed there was a problem concerning the way juvenile cases were being handled.

He immediately went to work fixing the problem.

“Everything was being done wrong,” he said. “When I got here things were bad.”

Now, La Porte County has joined a national program called Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), and the results could not be more positive.

“JDAI is not a program, it’s not a project, it is a systems change,” said Director of Juvenile Court Services Chip Cotman. “So, changing an entire system can take some time. It also has it’s struggles. But we are now starting to see the fruits of our labor. All of our up front work that we have done, is starting to come to fruition.”