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MONROE COUNTY, Ind. – The Monroe County Jail is hoping to stop inmates from returning by implementing a mental health and addiction recovery unit.

The hope is that putting people who want to get better together will help them block out bad influences.

Tanner Langley, who’s struggled with addiction for years, is optimistic about beating it this time.

“It’s kind of like a team effort here, so I’m hoping maybe it’s going to be a positive thing, more so than being upstairs or something with people who don’t want to change,” he said.

Langley and three others are the first to participate in the new program, which puts recovering inmates in a place away from other inmates. Jail Commander Sam Crowe came up with the idea.

“If we can have a community that is structured around recovery, rehabilitation, I think it’s going to be more successful for the participants,” Crowe said.

Inmates are scheduled to get counseling nearly every hour of the day.

“It’s going to keep it constantly in my mind and working towards that goal it’s going to keep it fresh,” said inmate Justin Kennedy.

The process makes vivitrol, a drug that stops a person from feeling the high of an opioid, available to inmates. After 90 days in jail together, inmates participating in the program will spend another 90 days at Centerstone, a recovery support center.

“Hopefully we’ll have a seamless transition between the jail and the community,” Crowe said.

The hope is that the participants will continue to support each other in sobriety after they leave Centerstone.

“Our last class we kind of talked about holding each other accountable,” Kennedy said.

He said he’s committed to sticking with it. After all, the participants all have loved ones who want them home for good.

“I’ve gotta be very serious about it, not take it for granted,” Kennedy said. “If I’m goofing off and not taking it serious, then I’m wasting maybe someone else’s chance at recovery.”

The program is still in its early stages. If it’s successful with the initial group, Crowe plans to expand it to more inmates.