Archived Story

38 treated for methamphetamine while in jail

Published 9:00am Friday, January 22, 2010

CASSOPOLIS – Cass County’s methamphetamine treatment program is a collaborative effort between the Sheriff’s Office and Van Buren/Cass District Health Department.

During fiscal year 2008-2009, 38 individuals received an average of 20 hours of treatment at the county jail.

“With the downsizing of Michigan’s prison population,” Ziemba wrote in the report, “there is increased pressure on local resources to manage offenders who will not be sentenced to prison. The Van Buren and Cass area methamphetamine programs continue to have a positive impact on public safety and continue to provide best practice treatment.”Ten individuals were released, two bonded out and six were sent to prison, according to a report by Candas Ziemba, MA, LPC, Van Buren/Cass District Health Department substance abuse services director.

Offenders eligible for the program are selected by Cass County Sheriff’s Office personnel. The primary criteria for selection are methamphetamine-related legal charges.

The jail-based part of athe program is offered twice a week, Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Curriculum used in this program is “A New Direction – a Cognitive Behavioral Treatment Program” developed by a collaboration of chemical dependency professionals from the Minnesota Department of Corrections and the Hazelden Foundation.

The curriculum, currently used by many correctional facilities around the country, is research-based and considered the standard of care for treating incarcerated substance abusers.

Curriculum consists of six workbooks and nine videos which complement the workbooks. Program participants received two hour groups twice a week while in jail.

During that time, participants were required to complete homework from the workbooks and demonstrate their knowledge of workbook material in group.

Participants were evaluated for progress in the program, with recommendations forwarded to county judges, community corrections and county probation.

Participants received credit for participation which might affect sentence length.

Atthe end of the fiscal year, eight individuals remained in the group. Since the program begin July 11, 2005 the jail program has continued to provide substance abuse treatment for the correctional population.

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