Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today announced a significant step toward reducing prison overcrowding and drug abuse with the awarding of $1,266,811 in grants for community-based substance abuse treatment and recovery services as part of his Justice Reinvestment initiative.
Seven provider partnerships received funding, which will result in new jobs and treatment services for multiple communities throughout West Virginia. The grants represent the initial step of a multi-phase pilot project that will carry out a key part of Gov. Tomblin's landmark Justice Reinvestment legislation. Additional grants will be awarded during the coming year.
"We know treatment programs help reduce recidivism and increase the likelihood that people will overcome addiction and become productive members of society," Gov. Tomblin said. "This is an important step in our continuing efforts to stop drug abuse."
Justice Reinvestment applies research-driven measures and best practices to improve public safety. This provision focuses on people on supervised release who show a high risk for reoffending along with a need for substance abuse and behavioral health services.
The grants will help to fund:
- A new, 60- to 100-bed treatment facility in Mercer County, benefitting southwestern West Virginia;
- Smaller, 6- to 10-bed treatment facilities in Marshall and Wood counties;
- Outpatient and intensive outpatient treatment programs based in Kanawha, Logan, Marshall, Mercer and Wood counties;
- The hiring of counselors and specialists in the above-mentioned counties as well as in Cabell and Harrison counties. Specialists provide various services for persons in recovery: strength-based supports for positive change; aid in finding and keeping safe and sober living environments; and help with education and other needs as they transition back into society.
The West Virginia Justice Reinvestment Treatment Supervision Grant Program seeks to enhance and create partnerships between behavioral health providers and the state's criminal justice system, with the common goal of reducing recidivism. These funds are administered cooperatively by the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety and its Division of Justice and Community Services, and the Department of Health and Human Resources and its Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities.