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Dunn County Criminal Justice Collaboration Council Chair, Co-Chair & Coordinator

Steve Rasmussen is the CJCC Chair.
DCCJCC started in 2008 and was guided by the wisdom and expertise during its first three years by the CJCC’s chairs in 2008-2010; Judge William Stewart and Judge Rod Smeltzer. Their forward thinking established Dunn County’s current structure of CJCC. As the number of CJCC’s in the State of Wisconsin has grown with almost forty counties having CJCC’s, it is gratifying to see the model that exists in Dunn County. Some counties have established their CJCC’s to be small in their membership and using just criminal justice entities’ department directors as members. Some CJCC’s are primarily led by the judge. Each county develops their CJCC based on their system’s demographics. We believe partnership with the community is important and appreciate their membership. We believe criminal justice entities and county entities are collaborative partners and are glad for their representation on, and commitment to, CJCC. One can choose to continue to do the same thing, the same way, but cost-effective and evidence-based practices will not result. Effective justice strategies can result from inclusive collaboration. Thank you to the founding chairs for their vision that established the firm foundation for DCCJCC.

Steve Rasmussen is starting his second year of being the chair for DCCJCC. DCCJCC is very fortunate to have Steve as its chair. He brings an extensive background in human services, vocational rehabilitation, collaboration, leadershiop, is a long time county resident and a fixture in local government. Steve is the chair of the Dunn County Board of Supervisors, a position he has held for many years. His career has always involved serving the residents of Dunn County.

Barb Gorman is the vice-chair of DCCJCC. Barb has been involed with CJCC since its inception. Barb has been a practitioner in the human services field for over thirty-five years. Prior to her almost twenty five years of experience at the Office of the State Public Defender as a social worker and investigator, she has worked as a mental health therapist, did juvenile intake and juvenile supervision, licensed foster homes, and worked for three different county Department of Social Services doing child protection and family services work. For the past fifteen years, Barb has taught a class at several of the area universities on court report writing and courtroom testifying for social workers. This led to working with a former professor at UW-Eau Claire, Dr. Len Gibbs, on creating the Courtroom Interactive Testimony Thinking Test section on a CD-Rom that is part of Dr. Gibb’s book, Evidence-Based Practice for the Helping Professions, published in 2003. Dr. Gibbs was a pioneer in developing curriculum for social workers and evidence-based practices.

Barb keeps several post-it notes near her computer. The first two are, “The current system is perfectly designed for the outcomes you are getting,” and “Insanity- Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Without effective collaboration, outcomes and results are not different. A third post-it is, “Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceed most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed- Herman Melville,” is posted, because . . . well, just because.

Sara Benedict is the Dunn County Criminal Justice Coordinator having been hired in January 2014. DCCJCC is excited to have Sara on board. Projects that have been initiated throughout the past six years will continue through the work of the criminal justice coordinator. Sara was employed as a coordinator at Workforce Resource prior to being hired as the criminal justice coordinator. Sara’s bachelor’s degree is in political science and she obtained her graduate degree from UW-Stout in Vocational Rehabilitation. Sara is a licensed professional counselor, a certified rehabilitation counselor and a veteran of the Air Force. She has over 15 years of work experience with government on the federal, state, and local level. Sara met her husband in Italy and traveled Europe extensively. She spent several motnhs in Saudi Arabia and Spain. In her free time, she enjoys reading, camping, art, traveling, antiquing, history, and good food. DCCJCC is very pleased to have Sara as the Dunn County criminal justice coordinator.