Starke County Gets Grant to Expand Inmate Drug Treatment Offerings

Starke County Justice CenterInmates at the Starke County Jail who are arrested for drug-related offenses will soon be able to seek treatment while they are locked up. The county is already home to the Indiana Department of Correction’s first non-prison based therapeutic community intensive inpatient drug treatment program.

Similar services will be offered to inmates who are either waiting for their cases to be decided or who have been sentenced to the county jail, thanks to a state grant recently awarded to Starke County Community Corrections. Sheriff Bill Dulin says they’re in the process of finding a treatment provider with whom to contract to provide opiate and methamphetamine addiction treatment.

He adds heroin, methamphetamine and prescription drug abuse are the biggest challenges local law enforcement face. More than 90 percent of the current Starke County inmate population is in jail due to a drug-related offense.

Dulin also wants to offer GED classes and teach resume writing skills in hopes of curbing recidivism by giving inmates more opportunities to improve once they are released from jail.

The local drug treatment program will last between eight and 10 weeks. While 100-percent success is a laudable goal, Dulin adds it’s not a realistic expectation.

“I would like to see 40 to 50 percent is probably an ideal goal, but it’s all going to depend on how willing they are to adjust to their lifestyle once they get out.,” he said. “They’ve got to change the lifestyle outside of incarceration. It’s got to be their willpower to do it.”

Dulin hopes to have the local therapeutic community program up and going within the next couple of months. He says they will be able to serve between 30 and 35 inmates and adds they will be screened based on their needs.