Campbell County in Northern KY will include a new substance abuse treatment program in a planned expansion of their detention center, projected to be open in January 2017. The new facilities will include rooms used for substance abuse treatment programs and more space for inmates detoxing from heroin and other drugs. Tentative plans are to create the program in Campbell County for men only and next create a women’s substance abuse treatment program in adjacent Kenton County. County corrections officials have expressed their desire to create an evidence-based treatment program to help address the serious heroin problem plaguing Northern Kentucky.
Northern KY heroin problem closely linked to need for jail expansion
New substance abuse facilities are only part of the planned jail expansion in Campbell County. However, the need for more space in the jails is linked to the region’s heroin epidemic. The jail currently has 425 beds, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader story linked above, and is reported to be “continuously over its capacity.” Typically, more than half of the inmates jailed at Campbell County Detention Center are suffering from heroin abuse, whether or not they were brought in on drug charges.
KY corrections centers offer more substance abuse treatment as heroin epidemic grows
Every day many people with heroin problems enter Kentucky county jails and state prisons. Even if their stay isn’t long enough to receive comprehensive addiction education or treatment, most need detox supervision, which corrections centers often struggle to provide adequately. In 2011 there were 15 jails and 8 prisons in Kentucky that had substance abuse programs. In their substance abuse program guidelines, the Kentucky Department of Corrections notes that over half of inmates in state prisons meet the criteria for addiction or drug abuse.
Because so many people who enter these corrections systems have some kind of problem with either heroin or another drug, some officials are looking to improve their ability to treat offenders before they leave the facilities. In a recent forum on treatment in Louisville, KY, the director of Louisville Metro Corrections, Mark Bolton, bemoaned the lack of options for treating those jailed only briefly before being released on non-drug related charges or warrants. But he also championed their program of streamlined detox into treatment, claiming it as the only such program in the state. In the last few years the Louisville jail has increased its treatment resources with the hiring of more detox nurses, more comprehensive staff training, and a bigger budget for inmate health services.