A substance abuse program implemented in Rapid City, South Dakota is going to be striving to keep local women who have committed nonviolent criminal offenses from going back to prison.
The substance abuse program has been specifically designed to target the population of females who have already had the terms of their probation established.
The substance abuse program will be giving each woman who has a nonviolent offense and is struggling with an addiction the opportunity to spend a period of three months at a drug and alcohol detoxification center located in the Pennington County region, where Rapid City is located.
The first client of the program — called the Lutheran Social Services and City County Alcohol and Drug program — will be starting treatment this week. The former inmate already has two violations to the terms of her probation and without the program, she would be returning to a correctional facility in the area.
Each woman that enters the program will be able to receive an individualized treatment plan that will feature several resources to address a range of needs that they may have, from substance use disorders and case management to mental health conditions and issues related to trauma.
After the women complete the full three months at the drug and alcohol detoxification center, the program will continue to provide them with nine extra months of community support.
According to South Dakota officials, programs such as the Lutheran Social Services and City County Alcohol and Drug program are not just able to support the women who need addiction treatment services but also routes to make the other members of the community feel safer.
The officials have also highlighted that the new program is one of the initiatives that have been established in the area to reduce the amount of money spent by law enforcement agencies to address the impacts of drugs.
Other initiatives to reduce the detrimental effects of substance abuse have been implemented across the state of South Dakota and in Pennington County.
In addition to a number of drug courts that look to lower recidivism associated with substance abuse, Pennington County has also established a Veterans Court. The initiative started in 2017 and allows the participants to be assisted in several different ways by a team that is mostly comprised of other veterans. The team helps the veterans — who are going through probation — get professional treatment for conditions related to mental health, such as post-traumatic stress disorders, as well as substance use disorders.
The veterans are also assigned a mentor and matched with a probation officer from the Rapid City Police Department or the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office who is able to offer support as well as supervision.
At the moment, the Lutheran Social Services and City County Alcohol and Drug program has a total of six slots available to accommodate the women who need treatment.
But by September the number of beds available for the participants of the substance abuse program is expected to be doubled.