City and county agree to fund drug court, recovery center

A drug court and a residential treatment center for women are a step closer to becoming reality. Over the past few weeks, the ASAP Board presented a plan to local officials to fund the Fresh Start Recovery Center. The center is a residential treatment program for pregnant women and women with young children. The board recommended that the city of Columbus and Bartholomew County split a one-time $200,000 payment to get the program established. City Council approved $100,000 in funding out of Substance Abuse Non-Reverting Fund during it’s meeting last week. County Council approved funding it’s $100,000 contribution during its meeting Tuesday night. These contributions will be utilized to refurbish the old post office site at Seventh and Washington streets.

County Commissioner Carl Lienhoop says he’s excited.

Officials indicate they hope to have the recovery center up and running by the end of this summer.

The ASAP Board also recommended that the city and county split the cost of an Adult Drug Recovery Court. The court is designed to integrate substance abuse and mental health treatment, drug testing, sanctions and incentives. The hope is to reduce recidivism, as well as offer hope and opportunity for those in the system. The city and county split funding $92,603 to get the court established.

County Councilman Mark Gorbett voted to fund both…

Judge Kelly Benjamin, who will preside over the drug court, says the hope is to start the program in April.