Clark County Tribune on 7/28/16 by Elizabeth DePompei
CLARK COUNTY — He’s served in an interim role since July 1, but by about 4:15 p.m. Thursday, Lindon Dodd officially became the director of Clark County Community Corrections.
Danielle Grissett left the director’s post and moved to the Clark County Probation Office as a probation officer at the end of June. Dodd, who previously worked for the Clark County jail as a court liaison for several years, was hired as the community corrections assistant director in February. Since Grissett left, he has served as the interim director.
The community correction’s advisory board formed a selection committee, which included Grissett, to interview four candidates for the job. Interviews were conducted July 13 and on Thursday, the advisory board voted to choose Dodd.
“Well [I’m] a little bit humbled. It’s kind of nice to know the board had that kind of faith in me, so I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Dodd said after the vote.
He said he has a “tremendous” respect for Grissett, who he’s worked with in the criminal justice system for several years. Serving as Grissett’s assistant director was the best job he had in his 40 years of working, he said. His first order of business will be to find an assistant director that can offer the kind of support he said the director needs.
Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 Judge Vicki Carmichael, who is one of three judges to sit on the advisory, said Dodd’s good rapport with judges, prosecutors, attorneys and the sheriff’s office make him a good candidate for the job.
“So I think he has good communication skills and can work with all of the parties involved,” Carmichael said.
Circuit Court No. 1 Andrew Adams said that relationship between the courts and community corrections is “vital.” Community Corrections offers sentencing alternatives for non-violent offenders, including home incarceration, day reporting and work release.
“With the number of beds — roughly 500 that the sheriff has — and the number of arrests in a month — typically around a 1,000 — finding placement for these individuals who had jobs, who have ability, who are low-risk, non-violent criminals that we can still supervise through community corrections … It gives us an alternative to sentence somebody or incarcerating somebody here locally in the jail.”
Carmichael added that the county is starting to see the affects of Indiana’s reformed criminal code, which required that county jails house the lowest level felony offenders instead of sending them to an Indiana Department of Correction facility. Circuit Court No. 3 Judge said that with more offenders being kept in the community, community corrections is being more utilized. Community Corrections currently serves around 175 offenders.
Chief Probation Officer Jamie Hayden said Grissett and Dodd are both “extremely talented people” who work well together. Probation and Community Corrections came under the same umbrella earlier this year, with Hayden now serving as community corrections executive director in addition to chief probation officer.
“Between the three of us I think we can cover most ground in a an efficient and thorough way that’s best for our community and for the offenders,” Hayden said.
Dodd’s salary will need to be approved at the next advisory board meeting, but Hayden said it will likely be around $50,000. Dodd is also a regular columnist for The News and Tribune.