VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - A new leader wants to bring positive change to the Vigo County Juvenile Center. Norm Loudermilk has been selected as the new director of the Vigo County Juvenile Center. Vigo County Sheriff John Plasse made the announcement Tuesday morning.
He will begin Monday, February 3rd and no longer work at his current position of Assistant Chief and Arson Investigator at the Terre Haute Fire Department. He replaces Jim Jenkins who is retiring after 10 years of service and last day was Tuesday.
Both Plasse and Loudermilk's number one goal is to have programs in place to help incarcerated children so they don't come back to jail as adults.
Plasse says Loudermilk shared many of his plans for that in his interview. "The main thing I think with him was the years of experience he's had and the programs he's done with juveniles with the Fire Department," Plasse said. The sheriff also said Loudermilk had done his research and has a vision on what he wants to change at the Juvenile Center.
"I think it's going to be a neat time over at the Juvenile Center," Loudermilk said, "It will be a time for people to grow and to develop new programs so I'm very excited."
Loudermilk spoke about the importance of structure in a child's life and having someone to look up to. He mentioned ideas like having stuffed animals given to children in times of trauma, having kids at the center be involved with the arts in some capacity, and even having construction workers come in to teach them skills to help spark interest and maybe get a job down the line.
Loudermilk admitted he's a bit of a "dreamer" right now, but they will travel across the state to see what ideas they can bring to Vigo County.
Both he and Plasse discussed their goals moving forward. "We can work together to try to reduce the population of the jail, reduce the number of children being repeat offenders, and try to make an impact in our community," Loudermilk concluded.
"It's not just about incarcerating juveniles," Plasse added, "But it's about doing things for them so we don't see them back as adults. If we don't do that I think we're failing."
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