Editor, Times-Union:

Rehabilitation – “to reinstate – make usable again.”

That is the exact definition derived from the Webster’s English dictionary. This is the same term that Indiana lawmakers used in the campaign to change the sentencing guidelines that were amended in 2014.

Those laws were established to facilitate a change in the overcrowding of the Indiana prisons by sending higher-level offenders with longer sentences to prison while housing lower-level offenders in county jails. This change made every aspect of the problem more severe. While the higher “risk” offenders are in a situation where they are allowed to participate in substance abuse, education and/or skill training that will give the offender a real chance in transitioning to each of their respected communities, the lower-level offenders housed in county jails do not have this opportunity.

The Kosciusko County Jail has a population that is almost twice the allowed capacity. Offenders are sleeping on the floors and are subject to health hazards. There are heroin, “meth” and “spice” addicts with no chance at help in any level while being housed here. Since January of this year, there has been two overdoses  and one suicide within the confines of this facility.

These horrible situations, and the fact that we are now seeing that addiction is now infiltrating and consuming people that once were well-respected and considered pillars of our community, should help our community understand that addiction doesn’t discriminate by any means.

Sheriff Dukes with his staff organization has implemented a program (JCAP) within this jail to help combat the core nature of the majority of crime in K-County ... drugs. There were over 150 male applications screened with only 20 to 30 accepted into the program. Though “pale in compassion” to the impact that needs to be initiated, it’s a start. My request to the readers of this letter is if you know of someone that will be allowed to participle in this program, please encourage that person to appreciate the fact that they were accepted in the only “in house” program that has been offered through this jail in it existence.

Then perhaps it will be acknowledged as a success therefore expanded to inmates that were denied initially. I wasn’t able to offer any percentages or case studies (due to my limited resources here at the jail) that deal with recidivism in regards to crime and incarceration. Although, I really don’t need case studies because I’ve lived with an addiction issue for the last 30 years.

Mitchell Hall

Kosciusko County Jail