A well-respected and well-connected person in Marion County has been chosen to lead a new program created by the Marion County District Attorney’s Office.
Bishop Corredon Rogers has been appointed as the coordinator of the Prosecutor’s Intervention Program (PIP), according to Prosecutor Ray Grogan. The program will focus on low-level drug offenders, giving them the chance to get their lives back on track through treatment and counseling instead of ending up in prison. The coordinator will serve as a facilitator for program participants, including helping them find a treatment provider.
Grogan noted that Rogers brings a wealth of experience to the position. Rogers worked for 25 years as a correctional officer at Marion Correctional Institution. He is the chaplain of the Marion Police Department, pastor and founder of New Hope Baptist Church in Marion, co-founder of the Hands of Hope for Housing initiative, and past president of the Marion Interfaith Ministerial Alliance. Additionally, Rogers has been recognized numerous times for his work in the community, including as a recipient of the Marion Police Department’s Citizens Impact Award.
“Cory knows everyone in this community,” Grogan said. “He understands the treatment options available. In his role at church, people come to him for guidance, counsel and help when faced with the most chaotic and dire times in their lives. life. So I thought about what we wanted to do with this program to bring these people who are often at the lowest point in their lives, to direct them towards treatment, there is no one I have met who is better placed to do that than Cory Rogers.”
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Referencing Rogers’ career as a state corrections officer, Grogan noted that his extensive experience in this field will be essential in understanding and meeting the needs of those entering the prosecutor’s intervention program. .
“He spent a career dealing with people and supervising people at the end of the criminal justice system,” Grogan explained. “Now he works with people at the beginning of the criminal justice system, drawing on both his 25 years of experience in the corrections field and his two decades of service in this community as pastor, bishop, community leader. . When you put those two things together, how can you go wrong.”
Rogers said he believes the intervention program will not only benefit people who enter treatment programs, but also the wider community, noting that those who successfully complete it may rejoin the community as as productive citizens.
“If we can give people a second chance and they can comply with whatever will be required of them in the program, it’s not good for that individual, it’s good for the community,” he said. said Rogers. “The crime rate is going down and we have more people becoming productive individuals and putting back into the community. If one person gets it, then that’s a win, and we keep moving forward trying to help a one person at a time. For me, this program is a real investment in the community.
Rogers said he plans to take full advantage of the contacts and relationships he has made in the Marion community over the course of his career to contribute to the success of the intervention program.
“I have worked with organizations in the religious community, law enforcement and treatment community in Marion over the years and have made many good relationships,” he said. “I see it as a victory.”
One of the main things that Rogers says encourages him is the support for the intervention program he has witnessed from law enforcement, the district attorney’s office, and the Marion County court system.
“The feedback I’ve gotten is that they think this program can work and they’re really committed,” he said. “And we’ll be open to hearing from them and any ideas they have to help the program.”
Grogan said only those who have been charged with low-level drug possession (fourth- and fifth-degree felony charges) and first-time drug offenders with no felony charges on their record will be eligible for the program. No one accused of drug trafficking will be allowed to participate.
“If they are on treatment for 30 days, we will dismiss the charge because they have been prepared to demonstrate that they can get the assessment, that they are ready to start treatment,” he said. . “At the end of those 30 days, it does not mean that the program is cancelled. They will have to remain in the program for another three months in addition to the original 30 days.
“Once they get to the three or four month mark – working with the coordinator, checking in once a week, signing information releases so the coordinator can see the progress they’re making with the treatment provider – once they are on that road to recovery, the charges will be dismissed and we will not proceed with a charge.”
He noted that the prosecutor’s office will seek indictments against those who do not complete the program or fail to comply with the terms of the program.
Grogan said funding for the program is provided by the Marion County Board of Commissioners, the MARMET Drug Task Force and the Crawford-Marion ADAMH Board of Directors, which each contribute $15,000 to the program. He said his office would also seek grant programs to provide additional funding for the program.
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