Dana Kenworthy, Judge, Grant County
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This profile was last updated on 4/1/14 and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.
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Dana J. Kenworthy

Wrong Dana J. Kenworthy?

Judge

Grant County
305 S. Norton Ave.
Marion, Indiana 46952
United States

Company Description: The Official Website for Grant County.
Background

Employment History

  • Deputy Prosecutor
    Grant County
  • President
    Grant County Bar Association
  • Adjunct Professor
    Indiana Business College/Harrison College
  • Adjunct Professor
    Indiana Wesleyan University

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Board Member
    Family Service Society Inc
  • Board Member
    Marion-Grant County Chamber of Commerce

Education

  • Juris Doctorate , Law
    Indiana University Law School
50 Total References
Web References
Kenworthy Spurs Progress | CASA of Grant County Indiana
casaofgrantcounty.com, 1 April 2014 [cached]
Since assuming Judge Randall Johnson's term in Grant Superior Court 2 more than two years ago, former prosecuting attorney Dana Kenworthy has made several changes to better the judicial system and save the county money.
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Though Kenworthy didn't have much time to prepare for her new role, she didn't hesitate in getting the court caught up.
"(Johnson's) illness made it difficult for him to handle the things that needed to be done, so when (Kenworthy) came in there was a backlog," said Superior Court 3 Judge Warren Haas.
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An Amboy native and graduate of Oak Hill High School, Kenworthy said she's always loved Grant County. Attending college at Ball State University in Muncie was her first time in a big city.
"I felt like a very small fish in a big pond," she said.
She double majored in criminal justice and psychology.
It wasn't until she began working in the Grant County Prosecutor's Office that she decided to attend law school. She was an intern in the office while still a student at Ball State. She joined the staff full-time in July 1994 as a criminal investigator and later began working as the community education coordinator.
She tried working in a big city as a paralegal with an Indianapolis law firm, but decided it wasn't the right fit. There wasn't much interaction with other people, and the work she was doing in civil cases wasn't appealing.
After working on three jury trials as an intern at the prosecutor's office, Kenworthy said she determined her niche was prosecuting cases.
"I felt like I had a knack with working with victims of crimes, especially little ones," she said.
In May 2001, she was hired as a deputy prosecutor in the Grant County office. Most of her cases involved juveniles, child abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence.
"All were very high-stress cases, and figuring out how to separate home and work was difficult," she said.
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When asked to take the bench for Johnson, Kenworthy said it felt right.
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Kenworthy described the transition from prosecutor to judge as a "whirlwind.
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Kenworthy said she had 17 trials in her court that year. This year there has only been about six trials in Superior 2 because the court has caught up.
Kenworthy said as of April 2010 the average age of new pending cases was almost one year and 11 months and as of April 2012 the average age is less than six months.
...
Now that there is no longer a backlog of criminal cases, Kenworthy is focusing on the civil cases that haven't had any activity for a while and clearing them from the docket. Earlier this year there were 85 juvenile cases with no activity for six months, 38 CHINS (child in need of services) cases without any activity for nine months, 472 divorce and domestic relations cases with no recent action and 601 juvenile delinquency cases with no activity for 180 days.
Currently all the cases have been cleared except for 87 delinquency cases and three divorces.
Haas said when Kenworthy took office there were several cases that had been taken under advisement by Johnson.
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While a lot has changed for Kenworthy, one thing hasn't - she is still an advocate for children.
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Kenworthy said her love for children began in college when she worked at a daycare center. The kids were 3 to 5 years old, and when they got in trouble they were sent to her office. Though she originally took the job to help pay for college, she said it was an eye-opening experience.
"I quickly started to bond with those troubled kids," she said.
In the past she served on several boards, including Court Appointed Special Advocates, Family Service Society and First Light Child Advocacy Center, to benefit children. She said she had to resign from those boards, as well as others, when she took office.
Connie Rose, director of Family Service Society, said Kenworthy is still making a difference in the lives of children and families.
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In addition to making positive changes to the court system, Haas said Kenworthy has spearheaded other changes to save the county money, including creating a full-time juvenile magistrate and pursuing several grants.
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As for grants, Haas said Kenworthy was responsible for getting money to pay for remote arraignment, in which parents who are in prison can appear for hearings without physically being transported to Grant County.
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Kenworthy said she also made changes to the jury trial schedule in Superior 2 to save money. Instead of jury trials starting on Monday afternoon like they had previously, they now start on Tuesday morning. The change enabled the county to avoid paying jurors for only a partial day's service. Jurors get the same set amount, as well as mileage, for serving a half day as they would a full day of service, she said.
Implementing a final pre-trial conference 15 days before a scheduled jury trial has helped determine if jurors actually need to be summoned. This helps reduce postage cost, staff time and public inconvenience because jurors aren't called in just to be sent home if a last-minute plea agreement is reached. Kenworthy has set cut-off dates for plea agreements to avoid last minute bargaining the morning of trials.
She also implemented a fee for parents involved in CHINS cases. A CASA fee of $100 is required in each case, and in June 2010 Kenworthy began requiring parents who can afford it to pay the fee. Since then, the cost for pauper counsel in the cases has declined because parents are helping cover the costs.
A heart for volunteering
Kenworthy currently serves on several boards at the state and local level - Judicial Conference of Indiana Board of Directors and the Juvenile Benchbook committee, Indiana State Bar Association Civil Rights of Children Committee and the Improvement in the Judiciary committee, Grant County Evidence-Based Decision-Making Committee, Marion-Grant County Chamber of Commerce, Department of Children's Services Regional Service Council for Region 7, Grant County Bar Association, Grant County Community Corrections Board, Marion Community Schools Friends of Marion High School Committee and Marion Mayor's Commission Against Domestic Violence.
Kenworthy said she learned at a young age the importance of giving back. Her mother was a volunteer at a hospital gift shop, and the judge said almost every job she's ever worked began with a connection she made through volunteering.
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In the future, Kenworthy said she wants to continue improving the courts. She and Judge Jeff Todd are currently working to create domestic relations rules for parties to follow when going through a divorce to improve communication skills as they co-parent.
At the state level, she said she hopes to get more involved in policy-making. Areas of interest to her are the Department of Child Services call center and tracking prescription drug use.
Locally, she is waiting to hear whether the county will receive a grant to help pay for mediation and programs for families in litigation.
Seeking grants is important for the judicial system, and she plans to continue pursuing more funding opportunities.
"Our budget is ever shrinking," she said. "We try to do the very best we can."
She said she feels good about the direction the courts are headed and said all four judges work well together and have regular meetings where they communicate.
"I feel optimistic," she said.
Local News - Marion Chronicle Tribune - www.chronicle-tribune.com
www.chronicle-tribune.com [cached]
"There's such a huge need for something like this in our community," said Dana Kenworthy, Grant County Bar Association president and a deputy prosecutor."We really need more volunteers to come out and help."
Kenworthy said that numbers of volunteer attorneys are very low, but students from Indiana Wesleyan University and Ivy Tech are pitching in.
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"The recipient must truly be indigent," Kenworthy said.
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Kenworthy agreed the turnout has been rather low.
"We've had between one and six people per four-hour session," she said, adding that not much advertisement of the program was done initially while the group worked out kinks.
Bragging writes | Marion Chronicle Tribune - www.chronicle-tribune.com -
www.chronicletribune.com, 8 Oct 2006 [cached]
Dana Kenworthy, Marion, received the Randall T. Shepard Award from the Indiana Pro Bono Commission for her commitment and contribution to the pro bono movement in Indiana.The award was presented Friday during a dinner at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.
Kenworthy was acknowledged for her tireless efforts to ensure legal services are possible for those in need of assistance, demonstrating hard work, dedication and care for the people in her community.She currently serves as Grant County deputy prosecutor, volunteers time as the chairperson of the Grant County pro bono committee and is president of the Grant County Bar Association.
She worked closely with judges and mediators to develop a pro bono mediation program in Grant County, recruits attorneys to participate in pro bono activities and annually organizes the district's Talk to a Lawyer Day.
The panel included Barb Nehring of ...
www.famservices.com [cached]
The panel included Barb Nehring of FSSI, IWU Social Work Professor Barbara Matchette, and Judge Dana Kenworthy of Grant Superior Court 2.
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The Discussion Panel, including Barb Nehring from FSSI, IWU Professor Barbara Matchette, and Judge Dana Kenworthy answered questions following the film.
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The Discussion Panel, including Barb Nehring from FSSI, IWU Professor Barbara Matchette, and Judge Dana Kenworthy answered questions following the film.
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When an education major asked how to handle negative behavior from a child experiencing divorce, Judge Kenworthy responded that, in her experience, adolescents actually thrive when rules are in place.
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Family Service Society, Inc. would like to extend thanks to everyone who made this event possible - Donna Delph and the IWU Student Activities Council, Professor Barbara Matchette, Judge Dana Kenworthy, and IWU's Behavioral Science & Education Departments.
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Judge Kenworthy suggests two online resources for parents wanting to learn more uptoparents.org (for divorce) and proudtoparent.org (for single parents).
Family Service Society, Inc. - Governance
www.famservices.com, 31 Aug 2011 [cached]
Dana Kenworthy Past President Attorney
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