It seems that at least once a week in one of our communities we hear of someone being arrested or convicted of a drug-related crime. It's no doubt that drug use is on the rise, but the Division of Corrections is doing something to help combat that for the people who end up behind bars.
During a recent tour of Huttonsville Correctional Center, information released indicates that about 70 percent of the 1,184 inmate population ended up in the facility because of a drug-related crime.
For the past 12 years, HCC has been making strides with its residential substance abuse treatment program. Only those who are determined to benefit from the course are accepted to participate. They then spend six months in a special unit where they're given the tools to learn to stay away from drugs and alcohol.
So far, the program has seen a growing success for inmates who were paroled and kept their records clean. Specifically, the recidivism rate for program participants was 11 percent, while the rate for the rest of HCC's inmates was 30 percent.
The residential substance abuse treatment program was originally an experiment at HCC. It's now incorporated in all of the Division of Corrections' facilities.
Since the HCC program is making a triumph, wouldn't it be a benefit to our local society to see a version of it implemented elsewhere?