The Hall County Correctional Institution recently was awarded a $50,000 grant to strengthen the drug treatment portion of its inmate rehabilitation program.
The $50,000 from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant will fund a Residential Substance Abuse Program for inmates. The participants in the Re-entry Accountability Court Transition Program, the brainchild project of Warden Walt Davis, will be the focus for treatment.
"It's a model that has been used in state prisons and actually around the country quite frankly," Davis said. "It's an evidence-based model that has been very effective in combating addiction among the inmate population."
The program runs for nine months, working as a more intensive form of drug counseling for inmates. An overwhelming majority of those in the REACT program, Davis said, suffer from serious drug addictions, which constitutes a large phase of the program.
"We hope that the grant will allow us to run it at least three times throughout the course of the next 24 months or so," Davis said.
As the program currently operates, New Hope Counseling comes in twice a week to give drug counseling with a certified addiction counselor. The new grant is a step up from that, Davis said, as a more intensive program.
While it is intended mostly for REACT participants, some slots may open up for those outside of the program. Davis said he has already communicated with New Hope Counseling executive director Tom Watkins about the grant.
"He has a certified addictions counselor who is trained to deliver RSAT, so we will probably be having additional conversations with them about delivery of that program," Davis said.
The first members of the recidivism-reduction program arrived in Hall County in March, beginning the three-phase program at the Hall County facility. The program works to eradicate drug addiction for low-level offenders and provide job training and opportunities after release.