Indiana judge honored for ex-prisoner program

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An Indiana judge has received a national award for his work starting a program that aims to reduce the number of released prisoners who get in legal trouble again.

Chief Justice John Roberts presented the award to Allen County Superior Court Judge John Surbeck during a ceremony Thursday in Washington. Surbeck is the 17th recipient of the National Center for State Courts' William Rehnquist award and the first from Indiana.

The Journal Gazette reports Surbeck says he started the Fort Wayne program in 2001 after becoming frustrated over the number of repeat criminal offenders. The re-entry court allows for the early release of prison inmates in exchange for closer monitoring than under typical parole and probation programs.

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