Peru Tribune on 02/11/2016 by Daniel Herda
A special hearing was conducted in Miami County Circuit Court on Wednesday to recognize the first graduate of a new program started by Community Corrections.
Earl VanHoose is the first graduate of the Miami County Correction’s Community-Based Treatment (CBT) program and said that it has helped him get his life back.
“For the first six months it was difficult, but in due time it got better,” VanHoose said.
He said his inspiration has been his support groups at Four County Clinic and everyone from Community Corrections.
“The CBT program really helped me,” VanHoose said.
VanHoose was also supported by his stepdaughter Amber Purcell and his close friend Charlotte Purcell, Amber’s stepmother, who were in attendance along with other members of VanHoose’s family and friends.
“My mother was going to try to make it but she got sick so she could not come. I know she is proud of me and my step father is proud of me,” VanHoose said. “I have changed a lot in many ways and I just feel better about myself.”
His friends and family continued to offer their support and congratulations before and after the hearing.
“It has been a long road and we are very proud of him,” Amber said.
Miami County Superior Court Judge Tim Spahr presided over the hearing, with Spahr saying that VanHoose has not only had an impact on his own life and his family lives, but on the staff of Community Corrections and all offices involved in the justice system in Miami County.
“I can say when all of us started this program I was not anticipating to be inspired. I wanted to help people, but I did not know that I was going to be inspired by your performance, your effort, your work, your diligence,” Spahr said to VanHoose. “You really have encouraged each one of the people working on this to try and bring the same status to the ones that are following in your footsteps.”
Miami County Prosecutor Bruce Embrey said that VanHoose has “set the bar high” for everyone else in the CBT program.
“(VanHoose) and I have known each other through the years,” Embrey said. “One thing that people don’t get when they are sitting where you are is that we want to see people succeed. That is what the whole process is about. Sentencing people is not a lot of fun, and what we really want to see is people going back into the community, just like you are doing.”
Sara Adams, Community Corrections Officer, gave her official recommendation to Spahr that VanHoose has successfully completed the CBT program.
“What we are trying to do with this program is find what inspires others to change, what motivates them and encourages them to work towards that change,” Adams said. “Sometimes it comes together unexpectedly when we are inspired by people like (Vanhoose). He has inspired me to come to work on days when I really don’t want to.”
During the hearing, VanHoose said he has been sober for 18 months and 19 days, and Spahr later added that VanHoose has given over 735 hours of commitment to the CBT program.
The program was made possible from a grant obtained by Miami County Probation Director Susan Rice, according to Spahr.
VanHoose said since his probation violation in July 2014 that he is has been ready to move forward with his life and that he was very grateful for everyone who believed in him.
“This is a great program for the community,” VanHoose said.