Board of Supervisors vote to establish In-house Substance Abuse Treatment at the Polk County Jail
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Sue Elliott, Project Manager
Polk County Board of Supervisors
During this morning’s meeting, the Polk County Board of Supervisors approved a lease agreement with Bridges of Iowa, Inc. to provide in-house substance abuse treatment program at the Polk County Jail. The agreement reached between Bridges of Iowa Inc., the Polk County Board of Supervisors and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office will locate the substance abuse treatment program in the vacant west wing of the Polk County Jail facility beginning September 1, 2012.
This is a significant step by the Sheriff’s Office and the Polk County Board of Supervisors in addressing alternatives to incarceration through their efforts within the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. Polk County will provide gaming revenues to retrofit the vacant wing of the jail facility to allow access for drug treatment without compromising the security and integrity of the jail facility. Bridges of Iowa Inc. will provide the staff and programming for the substance addiction treatment. A previous in-house drug treatment program for inmates was discontinued in the fall of 2010, when federal grant money was no longer available.
"This is an important program previously lost through lack of federal funding to address drug treatment at the jail. It is due to the work and commitment of Supervisor Angela Connolly and Sheriff Bill McCarthy that this was able to happen. This is a very important project for our community," stated Polk County Supervisor E.J. Giovannetti.
By having this program at the Polk County Jail, it will allow judges to sentence individuals directly to the program to receive the help they need and gives them an alternative to correct issues in a safe and secure environment.
"This type of partnership and forward thinking is what the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council was created to accomplish. We are pleased with how this has turned out," stated Supervisor Tom Hockensmith.
Bridges of Iowa is a privately funded 501C3 substance abuse treatment program which addresses the root cause of addiction and criminality, building a bridge to a productive life in service to society. There are currently 40 people in the program and with the move to the new facility there is hope that the number will increase to 80. The ultimate goal is to have 120 offenders, 80 males and 40 females, in the program. Bridges was incorporated in December of 2000 through initial funding received from a generous $2.1 million dollar gift from Donald and Charlene Lamberti.