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Delaware County gets grant to run state addiction services program at county jail

By Stephanie Wiechmann, IPR News | Published on in Crime, Government, Health, Local News
(FILE Photo: Delaware County on YouTube)

Delaware County will use a nearly $500,000 state grant to bring an addiction recovery and reentry program to the county jail.  As IPR’s Stephanie Wiechmann reports, the program is already running in Jay County.

In Jay County, the peer-driven recovery program is run by Kimbra Reynolds.  She says it’s inaccurate to talk about addiction as a moral issue.

“Through science and a lot of information that we have gained over the last 30 years, we know that it is not a choice.  We know that it is a brain disease.  And we know that there is recovery possible through that, just like any other disease.”

The program will soon come to Delaware County, thanks to a $472,000 grant from Mental Health America Indiana and the Indiana Forensic Support Services.  Its official name is the Integrated Reentry and Correctional Support Program.

Dr. Lynn Witty says it starts with finding out who’s in need.

“What the peer recovery people are going to do – they’re going to start by assessing everyone in the jail for mental health and addiction issues.  It’s not just the new people coming in.”

Sheriff Tony Skinner says the jail has a population of around 330 local people, with several dozen more being held in agreements with other overcrowded county jails.

Witty says the program is looking to hire local people in long-term recovery from substance abuse disorders to counsel others both in the jail and in the community.  There will also be navigators and social workers to help get someone community services once they leave incarceration.

County commissioners Sherry Riggin and Shannon Henry say this grant-funded program is in addition to a future addiction and mental health services rehab program that’s already been approved by county officials and is being bid out.  That’s being paid for by federal COVID-relief funds from both Delaware County and the city of Muncie.

Witty says officials hope to have the program up and running in June or July.