Kane County law enforcers have introduced a new program aimed directly at opioid epidemic that has devastated so many lives here.
Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain this month announced the beginning of “A Way Out,” a program that encourages people overwhelmed by drug addiction to call, walk in or use the Sheriff’s Office Tip411 portal to get the help they need — without fear of punishment or retribution.
“This is about caring for our residents, not incarcerating them,” Hain said.
Hain says “A Way Out” provides support and treatment-center help to those suffering from drug addiction.
“The Sheriff’s Office will come pick you up, find you a bed, and we will provide transport to the treatment centers,” Hain said at the Thursday (July 11, 2019) Judicial And Public Safety Committee meeting.
A leasing process has begun for a treatment center that could transform almost 30,000 square feet inside the Sheriff’s Office complex to a residential addiction treatment facility.
At Thursday’s Public Safety Committee meeting, committee members also recommended approval of a resolution that would allow the Sheriff’s Office to enter into a contract with Lighthouse Recovery, Inc. for substance abuse treatment services in the Adult Corrections Center.
That partnership, which was developed through a 30-person pilot program that began in March, “will help ensure inmate health and safety, as well as drive down recidivism and criminal activity that results from addiction,” the resolution states.
The “A Way Out” program works through multi-agency cooperation and in concert with the medically assisted treatment and addiction counseling, exit programs and job training for people re-entering the community from incarceration.
“Once a treatment center is located, the citizen in need will then be provided transportation to the facility,” Hain said. “This opportunity will be available to all residents of Kane County.”
Hain said this approach has been made possible through the contributions of the Kane County Coroner’s Office, the Kane County State Attorney’s Office, Northwestern Hospital, and the local treatment centers.
“Without these key partners,” he said, “we would not have been able to launch this critical mission to end what is a contributing factor in most of our county’s crime: drug addiction.”
Kane County Coroner Rob Russell said he hopes the establishment of the “A Way Out” program will reduce the number of deaths in Kane County.
He said a similar initiative was launched in 2014 in Lake County. In a study performed by the Daily Herald, Lake County’s opioid deaths rose less than 25% from 2014 to 2017, whereas Kane County deaths increased 205% during the same time period.
SOURCE: Kane County Sheriff’s Office and Kane County Coroner’s Office news releases