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STAR provides success plan

Poor decisions are at the root of nearly all of the problems facing millions of Americans who are in our criminal justice system or are battling addiction problems that lead to crime.

Understanding the consequences of actions may be the first step toward turning your life around, but where to go from there can be an intimidating or overwhelming situation.

The STAR Community Justice Center tries to provide a step-by-step approach that helps those in the program return to being productive citizens living fulfilling lives.

And although the program may not work for every individual, STAR’s success rate and benefits over traditional incarceration have been tremendous over the past eight years.

STAR offers an alternative to prison time for non-violent offenders, a solution that costs about one third of annual per prisoner costs as prison.

Plus, where prison simply locks individuals away with little to no focus given on reformation, STAR’s entire focus is on giving individuals the tools they need to put their lives back together.

Inmates — though they prefer the word “residents” — can spend a maximum of 180 days at the facility where they are taken through a four-step program designed to change behavior and build a foundation for success. The steps are: structure, therapy, advocacy and restoration.

Executive Director Eddie Philabaun summed the program up very succinctly.

“You don’t have to be smart to make it through the STAR program, you have to be determined.”

STAR can provide the roadmap but an individual’s determination will be the key to success.

But they won’t have to take those vital steps alone.