Grant will help inmate addicts Treatment program at jail to include drinking problems

October 19, 1995|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF

County officials are about to launch an intensive substance abuse treatment program for inmates at Carroll County Detention Center. County health and corrections officials say that beginning Dec. 1, the program will ena of Crime Control and Prevention recently awarded a $70,000 grant to the county health department to pay for the program. The department supplemented the grant with $23,000 in county money, said Howard Held, director of the county health department's mental health bureau.

Developed by the health department and detention center staff, the program will offer daylong, comprehensive treatment services to 12 inmates at a time for about three months.

Components of the program include one-on-one and group counseling, classes addressing addiction as a disease, counseling for families of inmates and referrals to outpatient and inpatient drug treatment programs in the community.

"From the time they get up in the morning until the time they go to bed at night, they'll be in some type of treatment activity," said Jim Reagan, director of treatment at the detention center.

Officials said they hope that the intensive nature of the treatment program will help to reduce recidivism among jail inmates with substance abuse problems.

"You can treat someone once a week for five years, and it won't be as effective as making people face their behavior minute to minute, hour to hour," Mr. Reagan said.

The 12 inmates selected for the drug treatment program will live in a unit separate from the general prison population. Participation in the program is voluntary.

To be considered for the program, Mr. Reagan said inmates must be "highly motivated and really want help."

Among the 144 inmates at the county detention center, between 65 percent and 80 percent were incarcerated for crimes involving drugs or alcohol, Mr. Reagan said. But prison officials say that treatment for inmates with substance abuse problems is limited by a lack of resources.

The detention center has one full-time counselor, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous chapters and some education groups.

The $93,000 cost of the new drug treatment program will pay for two full-time counselors, a part-time social worker and part-time clerical worker.

Two of the most important components of the new program are referral and case management services upon release from the detention center.

Depending on court approval, Mr. Reagan said he expects that many of the inmates who complete the 90-day program will be referred to halfway houses or other treatment facilities in the community.

"The object is to keep in touch with the person for a year to make sure they're getting the proper treatment and not falling through the cracks," he said.

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