FOUNTAIN COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Warren and Fountain Counties judges are finding success with a court-issued rehabilitation program for drug addicts.
The two county courts adopted the program five years ago and now more than half of its graduates are on a drug-free path.
It's a program called Bi-County Accountability Court, or what judges refer to as "the last chance for defendants."
“For a defendant who maybe has a history of not being successful, has had multiple cases that are drug-related they may not all be drug charges but somehow substance abuse driven,” said Fountain County Judge Stephanie Campbell.
Judge Campbell runs this program with Warren County Judge Hunter Reece. Together they've seen the hardship small counties can face fighting the drug epidemic.
“Rural counties really suffer because we don't have the services available to us that bigger urban counties have,” said Judge Campbell. “The treatment programs and the daily contact that people can have that are really struggling with addiction.”
Judge Campbell calls it an intensive service. It requires at least two drug screenings a week, multiple substance abuse therapy sessions a week, community service and building relationships with family.
“Our goal is to integrate them to the community being a prosperous person in the community and not living a life of being ashamed of their past but accepting their past and moving on and being productive,” said Judge Campbell.
So far it's been successful. More than half program's graduates are currently on a path on not re-committing their drug crimes.
“The average state or program success rate is under 50% and our success rate so far is 55 to 60%,” said Judge Campbell. “That's not a lot above it but if that one additional person that's successful is your family member then that's a great thing.”
The program has a required maximum of 12 participants at a time. Currently, it's full and has a waiting list.