When asked why she volunteers to spend her scarce free time serving as a member of the Board of Directors for Tri-County, Platte County Assistant Prosecutor Amy Ashelford does not hesitate in responding. “I am 100 percent behind what Tri-County does. Mental health has been ignored or pushed aside for too long, and I see the importance of addressing mental health issues through the work that I do.”
As a prosecutor, Ms. Ashelford has been able to work with drug and DWI courts to offer a second chance to those who can still make a change. “There is nothing better than seeing them better themselves,” she says of the people she has seen go through the treatment courts. While prosecutors often dread running into the people they have dealt with, she has enjoyed seeing people who have gone through the treatment courts. She has had people come up to her in the grocery store to thank her and introduce their families to her. One proud drug court graduate brought her healthy, drug-free baby to a graduation.
Outside of work, Amy loves living in Platte County. She says it is like living in a small town with all the advantages of living in Kansas City. “My kids know all their neighbors, and we can go to a Chiefs game, too!” she says.
Amy grew up in a small town in Nebraska and was going to law school when her father became a judge. Realizing she wouldn’t be able to try cases in her home town with her father on the bench, she transferred to UMKC School of Law. She met her husband, Dale, on a blind date set up by her pastor, and now they have two high school aged children.
When asked if anything about Tri-County surprised her when she joined the Board, Amy said that she did not realize the number of people we serve, or the depth and breadth of our services. “Tri-County helps kids in school, and has support groups for their grandparents.” Amy enjoys educating law enforcement personnel about the treatment court programs in Crisis Intervention Training and seeing the officers open up to a different way to help people succeed.
When she’s not serving the public through her job or through her volunteer work, Amy enjoys spending time on Smithville Lake. “My family spends their time fishing and I spend my time reading. Everybody is happy and relaxed.”
Tri-County is fortunate to have Amy Ashelford serving on its board, and Platte County is fortunate to have her in the Prosecutor’s Office.