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Rockdale jail to start new drug treatment program
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Rockdale County and the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office will receive $85,924 in grant money from the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council to develop a new program that will assist inmates with substance abuse issues being held in the Rockdale County Jail.

The Residential Substance Abuse Program will give 30 participants, 20 men and 10 women, an opportunity to obtain skills that will be useful after their incarceration is complete, says Richard Oden, chairman and chief executive officer of the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners.

The program lasts for 90 days and will teach inmates parenting skills, substance abuse education, anger management, job readiness, relapse prevention, and character development. There will also be cardiopulmonary resuscitation, C.P.R., training and vocation skills classes offered through the program.

"We have made great efforts to secure funding to develop and establish this in the Rockdale County Jail because we are committed to improving the welfare and safety of citizens in our community," Oden read from an announcement letter during the board's work session Tuesday morning. "These classes are intended to provide participants with the tools needed to stop the pattern of addiction, promote good decision making, and lead healthy productive lives."

Rockdale County beat out seven other contenders for this one-year based award that includes $10,000 in matching funds from the United Way of Greater Atlanta and another $10,000 from the Rockdale County Inmate Welfare Fund.

Rockdale County Sheriff Eric Levett says the Rockdale RSAT program could reduce the rate at which people return to jail and help those with a serious problem in the process.  

"The RCSO is proud to be able to offer the RSAT program in the Rockdale County Jail," Levett read from a letter. "By offering these resources to inmates who desire this treatment we hope to reduce inmate recidivism. The Sheriff's Office will continue to search diligently for grants and programs that will assist in helping inmates make better decisions to reduce crime."

The sheriff's office is looking to pay the coordinator of the program $46,766 and a facilitator and counselor $32,312. Both salaries would be paid using grant money.

The Rockdale board will vote on these two positions at its 10 a.m. voting session Aug. 26 at the Assembly Hall, 901 Main Street.