CA offers drug treatment proposal

By Mary Ann Kearns - [email protected]

Mason County Attorney John Estill is hoping the county can team up with Comprehend Inc. and can offer help to inmates at the county jail who were convicted of misdemeanor charges and struggle with addiction.

On Tuesday, Estill offered a suggestion to Mason County Commissioners that would bring Comprehend Inc. professionals to the jail to evaluate prisoners for possible treatment for addiction.

Currently, there is no provision for getting inmates out of jail and into a treatment program, according to Estill. The program would be offered to prisoners who are charged with misdemeanors, he said. People with felony convictions are being dealt with through the rocket docket option.

At about $150 for each evaluation, the program would come as a cost savings to the county, Estill said, as inmates deemed eligible for treatment could be housed in a treatment facility paid for either by private insurance or Medicaid, saving the county the cost of housing them at the detention center. It would also address the growing opioid addiction problem.

“You would spend $150 and save a 60-day incarceration,” he said.

“It would get people out of jail and into treatment,”Estill said.

At tops, Estill said the program will cost a total of $3,000 on a trial basis and could save several thousand in costs to the detention center.

Estill said he will work with Judge Jeffrey Schumacher to give the program a try.

By Mary Ann Kearns

[email protected]