The head of the Criminal Division Services of Allen Superior Court has been chosen as the new executive director for the county’s Community Corrections department.

The selection of Kimberly Churchward was unanimously approved during the January 23 meeting of the Community Corrections’ advisory board.  Her appointment was ratified by the Allen County Board of Commissioners at its February 7 legislative session.

Churchward has 26 years of professional experience in the county’s criminal justice system.  She has served as executive director of superior court’s criminal division services for over 12 years.  Her responsibilities included supervising and administering all program operations and staff of Pretrial Services, the Alcohol Countermeasures Program, and the Drug Court Program.  She also worked in the Prosecuting Attorney’s office from 1988 to 2001, first as an investigator and later as director of investigative services.

“I hope to bring the knowledge and insight that I have gained through these various experiences to Community Corrections,” Churchward said.  “I appreciate the support and confidence of the advisory board.”

Churchward succeeds Sheila Hudson, who retired as executive director on December 16 after serving in the department for 28 years.

“Sheila was able to create one of the most effective community corrections agencies in the state,” said Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck, Jr., chair of the Community Corrections Advisory Board.  “The board feels Kim has the experience, knowledge and qualifications which will allow Community Corrections to remain effective and efficient well into its future.”

“Kim is a well-rounded individual who we believe will bring an entrepreneurial spirit and vision to the department,” added Commissioner Therese Brown, who also serves on the advisory board.

Churchward’s salary is still to be negotiated, but will be in the range of $75,000 to $85,000 as set by Allen County Council.

Community Corrections is responsible for the operations of Allen Superior Reentry Court and the Allen Circuit Restoration Court.  The department consists of twelve divisions, including clinical, research and evaluation; communications; case management; and programs, which features an intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment program and life skills such as a GED testing and preparatory program.  Community Corrections operates two facilities — a Day Reporting and Treatment facility and the Kelley House, a modified therapeutic community for 48 dual-diagnosed male felony offenders.