New jail program to curb addiction

Posted at 5:43 PM, Apr 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-28 17:43:59-04
Manatee County officials said emergency responders were being called to more than a dozen drug overdose calls in 2015.
Deputies decided to take action to stop the drug use problems in the county.  In January the sheriff's department opened the addiction recovery pod inside of the jail.
"We hope that with this type of environment that they are able to open up and share and setup partnerships with each other and with our volunteers in the community," said Lt. Yvonne Ingersoll.
About fifty inmates are selected to take part in the 60 day program.  They receive daily counseling and mentorship on how to deal with addiction.  The goal is to stop having the jail from being a revolving door for drug users.
"I'm here to change and this program is working, I'm learning so much it's a blessing," said inmate Dakota Perkins.
Betty Luper has been in and out of jail for more than ten years.  She said she didn't receive much counseling before on how to deal with addiction, but now she is getting it daily.
"I won't go back to drugs, I've learned so much stuff here there is no doubt in my mind," said Luper.
Manatee County deputies said 65-percent of inmates admit to having an addiction problem. Deputies believe this program is a major step forward in helping drug users to get clean.