Drug treatment program could be open by end of year

Bartholomew County corrections officials believe there is still time to start a drug treatment program for men this year, if the funding gets approved.

Last week, City Council gave its first approval to pay half of the just over $241 thousand dollars cost of the REALM treatment program. Tonight the Bartholomew County Council will consider funding the other half of the program.

Rob Gaskill, director of residential services for the county community corrections department, says that cost would fund the program for all of next year and the remainder of this year.

If funding is approved, the county would house the program on the first floor of the Bartholomew County Jail building. Community corrections already operates three work-release programs and the WRAP drug treatment program for women in that space.

Gaskill says room for REALM will be made by reducing the number of local male work-release participants.

County officials feel the best use of funds would be a drug treatment program for men, as many of the men in the work-release program would benefit more from drug treatment.

If everything goes according to plan, the first REALM class could be running by early December.

The County Council meets at 6 tonight at the Governmental Office Building on Third Street.