WILMINGTON – Participants from the STAR Community Justice Center worked on two separate community projects in Wilmington this summer as part of STAR’s Community Service Program.
All the workers were current low-level offenders on probation through Clinton County Common Pleas Court.
STAR residents helped with renovation and finish work at the Tanager House, the new non-profit recovery housing for women near downtown, and assisted with cleanup at Sugar Grove Cemetery for the City of Wilmington (pictured).
STAR — Structure, Therapy, Advocacy and Restoration — is a community-based correctional facility in Franklin Furnace, Ohio intended to promote public safety and reduce prison commitments. STAR utilizes programming that aims to address the seven key areas that place offenders at risk of recidivating.
The community service program helps participants establish pro-social contacts within the community; elevate the degree of community confidence in the rehabilitation process; enhance the basic work skills and work ethic of participants; and allows residents to experience the benefits of “giving back”, according to Eddie Philabaun, executive director of STAR.
“The workers from the STAR program did excellent work at Sugar Grove — they were hardworking and positive,” said Brian Shidaker, director of public service and safety for Wilmington. “The main focus was cleaning up the area adjacent to the storage barn at the cemetery. They cleaned out the barn, moved items to be saved to inside storage and loaded broken equipment and trash to be hauled away. They also cut weeds and removed overgrown brush that was encroaching on headstones.
“A litter crew also worked throughout the cemetery, with a focus on cleaning out the front fence row. They provided valuable, important services to Sugar Grove Cemetery.”
Clinton County Common Pleas Court Judge John W. “Tim” Rudduck is a longtime believer in the STAR concept.
“This is a valuable service to our community which at the same time gives these individuals a chance to do something that makes them feel like productive members of society,” Rudduck said. “We hope this kind of effort might be good resume builders as they complete the STAR program and return to the community looking for jobs.”