TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Westmoreland County Prison to offer drug relapse program for inmates

Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
 

With about 40 percent of new inmates at Westmoreland County Prison needing detoxification treatment for drug addiction, officials this summer will start a program to help them stay clean once they leave detention.

The jail will begin an inmate relapse prevention program in July. It is designed to educate and help prisoners refrain from resuming drug use once they are released. Some inmates are treated for alcohol addiction.

“This is an effort by us to try to deal with the overwhelming drug problem,” said Warden John Walton.

The county's growing drug problem is clearly defined by what is occurring at the jail, officials said.

In April, 40 percent of inmates who entered the facility needed treatment for drug addiction. That number was a slight decrease from March, when 42 percent of incoming inmates needed services to wean them off drugs.

The county put 114 inmates through detox last month.

“We're trying to give them guidelines to try to stop and not relapse,” Walton said.

Westmoreland County Community Action will conduct voluntary classes for inmates.

Cost estimates for the program have not been finalized, but a grant from the Westmoreland County Drug and Alcohol Commission will be used.

Tim Phillips, director of prevention at Community Action, will teach the classes.

“We want to stop the revolving door. Once they get out on the street, hopefully they'll be more prepared,” Phillips said. “We have a captive audience, so why not do something with them.”

The nine-step program will teach inmates to recognize their addiction and teach them to recognize warning signs for drug relapses, according to a class outline.

Initially, a class will include about 20 inmates who will meet two days a week, according to Phillips.

“We'll give them a skill set so they can learn how to manage themselves in a helpful manner,” Phillips said.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Westmoreland

  1. Groups sponsor candidates forum in Monessen
  2. Youngwood Council to pick solicitor from ‘good mix’
  3. Knife-wielding man attacks 2 in Sheetz lot in Greensburg
  4. Franklin Regional stabbing suspect could leave Pa. for treatment
  5. Delmont must address access road for gas station
  6. Ex-clerk convicted of stealing more than $116K from WCCC avoids jail
  7. Butler blasting worker in North Huntingdon water main break put on probation
  8. Bolivar couple charged with endangerment; baby nearly drowned, police say
  9. Police: Jeannette woman tried to steal family’s safe
  10. Fundraising under way for Indiana County newborn struck by stray bullet
  11. Police: Charges unwarranted for Yough shop class project
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.