The Crawford County Jail has partnered with Community Health of Southeast Kansas (CHCSEK) to initiate a new treatment program for inmates.
Treatment will include counseling, medication assisted treatment and aftercare.
In a media release on Aug. 25, Sheriff Danny Smith says that he has seen the funding and resources for addiction and mental health treatment slowly disappear in the last 25 years.
“…As a result, county jails have had been forced into housing individuals suffering from addiction and behavioral health problems. Essentially, jails have become mental health hospitals. Correctional facilities and personnel are traditionally not equipped or budgeted to treat behavioral health and addiction issues. More often than not, the jail becomes a revolving door for these individuals as they come in and out of jail with no end in sight.”
The program offers several treatment options, one being the Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). The MAT program utilizes medication for individuals suffering from substance abuse disorders and well as individuals with mental illnesses.
“As the Sheriff of Crawford County, I’m excited to announce that we have partnered with Community Health of Southeast Kansas (CHCSEK) to launch a new innovation treatment program at the Crawford County Jail…This grant funded pilot program will give us the opportunity to facilitate clinical treatment for addiction by qualified medical personnel. One of the biggest challenges in treating individuals incarcerated in a jail setting is that their stay is usually not long enough to successfully get through an addiction program. Once they are released, they usually relapse because they are no longer in a safe environment, their resources for treatment are limited and they financially are unable to support themselves. This addiction treatment program is unique in the way that it is specifically designated to fill the gaps that we often see that come with individuals that are in and out of correctional facilities, and who suffer from addiction and behavioral issues.”
All individuals are given the choice of whether or not they would like to be in the addiction treatment program. While in jail, they will have access to a therapist via telehealth, or in-person if needed for behavior and mental health services. They will also have a case worker that will monitor their treatment and progress.
“The process for which individuals are identified as high risk for substance abuse orders starts during the intake process when they are medically screened before entering the jail. It will be an individual’s choice to be a participant of the addiction treatment program. Candidates for the addiction treatment program will then be medically assessed by licensed medical personnel to find the best course of treatment for that person. Which may also include managing withdrawals… What is remarkable about this grant program, is that it also provides post-release resources to reduce relapse. This program provides medication, counseling, and other resources to assist with the path of recovery.”
Smith hopes that this program will reduce crime in addition to helping people struggling with substance abuse and mental illness.
“It is our hope that through this program that we are able to not only change the lives of individuals needing and wanting help, that we also reduce the recidivism, and crime that is often associated with addictions.”