Northern Kentucky leaders now want jail expansion to include treating heroin addicts

04/21/2014 05:28 PM

The judge-executives of Campbell, Boone and Kenton counties are looking to take advantage of their captive audiences in their jails by offering a heroin recovery program for inmates.

Campbell County Judge-Executive Steve Pendery is studying ways to incorporate drug treatment as part of a planned 108-bed addition to the Campbell County Detention Center that’s due to be completed in early 2015.

In addition, Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore and Kenton County Judge-Executive Steve Arlinghaus are working with Pendery to see how possibly their jails would be part of a program to combat heroin addiction on a regional basis.

The underlying goal is not only to get help for addicts but to eliminate return visits of addicts to the jails and save the county money in the long run.

“You have at least 1800 jail beds across the 3 counties,” said Pendery. “The people are in jail. They’re not going to have access to the drug that they’d like to use and they’re already being fed, closed and housed. I mean, why wouldn’t you have a treatment that begins in the jail in an area that’s otherwise short of treatment facilities in the first place.”

The Campbell Fiscal Court heard a first reading of an ordinance at it’s April 2 meeting authrizing the county to borrow $2.5 million to finance the addition.


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