Bartholomew County starts drug treatment program in jail

File photo

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Nearly 34% of people who go to jail in Indiana will return to jail within three years of their release, according to the Indiana Department of Correction.

Right now in Bartholomew County, about one in every three inmates will return to jail in three years. They currently have over 250 inmates, many of them there for the same reason.

“A good percentage of those are here because of some type of substance abuse issues,” said Chief Deputy Chris Lane. “Our jail population has continued to rise over the last few years, and a lot of that is contributed to drug addiction.”

While there are drug treatment organizations and programs outside the jail walls, there is no program inside the jail.

“I can make drug cases, I can put them in jail, I can put them in prison… but I can’t treat their addictions,” Lane said.

That’s what led him to spearhead a new drug treatment program for the jail. Now he’s searching for the right person to run it.

“They can be at the front end, they can start a program,” Lane said.

The idea isn’t new. Other counties across central Indiana are starting their own programs, hoping to fix the problem from inside.

“If we can redirect a few and keep them from coming to jail or going back to prison, obviously that’s a win for all of us,” Lane said.

For more information on the job opening and to apply, click here.

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