WEATHER ALERT

Challenging evening commute ahead as rain, snow showers redevelop

Clark County Jail doubles inmates in drug treatment program


A new drug treatment program in the Clark County Jail is unlike any other program in Ohio and is aimed at preventing crime, Springfield leaders said.

McKinley Hall expanded its drug treatment program within the Clark County Jail earlier this month to allow for nearly double the number of inmates to participate. Previously, only about 30 inmates could enroll in the drug treatment program within the jail, now there’s room for 60 inmates.

RELATED: Clark County leaders: Drug ‘emergency’ first step, more action needed

“If we can start working on some of the skills that they’re lacking while they’re incarcerated that makes it all the better once they get out,” said Deontrae Ellis, program coordinator with McKinley Hall.

It’s an intensive outpatient program, Ellis said. It was able to expand after the jail converted its employee gym into two classroom spaces. Inmates meet for nine hours a week in some capacity, Ellis said. The program includes addiction education classes, as well as group and individual counseling.

“It’s needed in Clark County because we have a serious opiate problem,” he said. “It’s just another way to combat it.”

In Clark County, a record 97 people have died of drug overdoses so far this year and local law enforcement have responded to more than 1,000 drug overdoses, local leaders said. Responding to those overdoses and other drug-related calls is time-consuming and ties up resources, local law enforcement leaders have told the Springfield News-Sun.

McKinley Hall now also has a case manager and therapist with offices within the jail.

READ MORE: New program seeks to reach Clark County overdose patients, save lives

The jail wanted to do more to help inmates prepare for release, Jail Administrator Lt. Michael Young said, so he and Clark County Sheriff Deborah Burchett were on board with the plan to expand treatment. Many of the inmates in jail are there on charges related to drugs.

“We realized that we’re not doing enough,” Young said. “… These are all members of our community. So when they’re incarcerated, what are we doing to prepare them to be better members of the community?”

The goal is to get people on a path to recovery while they’re incarcerated, Young said, that they can continue after they’re released.

“Then even if you get out and you stumble or you hit the addiction again, hopefully there’s a better plan in place to get you kind of reorganized,” he said.

Since the creation of McKinley Hall’s Criminal Justice Program, Ellis said 271 clients have received treatment and about 110 of them haven’t had any new arrests in the past year. That’s a trend Ellis hopes will continue.

“Over the last three to five years, we’ve been trying to tackle this opiate problem any and every way that we can,” he said. “And providing services to our residents while they’re actually incarcerated is just another step in the right direction.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Crime

Judge delays ruling in CNN lawsuit against Trump over Jim Acosta White House ban
Judge delays ruling in CNN lawsuit against Trump over Jim Acosta White House ban

A judge is set to rule Friday in the lawsuit filed earlier this week by CNN against President Donald Trump and his top aides. Attorneys for the news network are arguing that Trump and his aides violated both the network’s and reporter Jim Acosta's constitutional rights when he was banned from the White House last week. Update 1:05 p.m. EST Nov...
Mark Wahlberg donates $20K to Ohio foster care organization
Mark Wahlberg donates $20K to Ohio foster care organization

Actor Mark Wahlberg, who is promoting his new movie “Instant Family,” donated $20,000 to an Ohio foster care organization. Walhberg, and business partner Jay Feldman, made the donation to Buckeye Ranch, an organization that operates foster homes in 23 counties in Central and Southern Western Ohio. The organization serves children and...
Country musician Roy Clark, of 'Hee Haw' fame, dead at 85
Country musician Roy Clark, of 'Hee Haw' fame, dead at 85

Grammy-winning country musician Roy Clark, best known for co-hosting “Hee Haw,” has died at age 85. His publicist said in a news release that he died from complications from pneumonia in his Tulsa, Oklahoma, home. >> Read more trending news  In addition to work on “Hee Haw,” Clark was a Country Music Hall of Fame...
Pregnant Carrie Underwood reveals she's having another boy
Pregnant Carrie Underwood reveals she's having another boy

Carrie Underwood used some of her time hosting the CMA Awards Wednesday to announce she is having a second son. Billboard reported that, at the start of the show, Underwood shared her usual banter with longtime co-host Brad Paisley. >> Read more trending news  “Seriously Carrie, give me a little baby hint," Paisley said. &ldquo...
JCPenney earnings reports don’t show improvement
JCPenney earnings reports don’t show improvement

While JCPenney isn’t closing stores now, it’s not out of the question. The department store once again disappointed Wall Street with same-store sales dropping 5.4 percent last quarter and net sales decreasing 5.8 percent, according to a company statement. The company also lost more than $150 million, sending its stock price down 12 percent...
More Stories