Robert Bentley awards grant to help Ala. inmates overcome substance abuse dependencies

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Gov. Robert Bentley awarded a $210,605 grant to the Alabama Department of Corrections to treat inmates in several correctional facilities with drug dependencies on Tuesday.

“So many evils are rooted in illegal and illegally obtained drugs. In recent years, Alabama has seen a significant increase in the number of fatalities caused by opioid abuse, and we must assist those suffering from opioid addiction whenever possible,” Bentley said in a statement. “I support this program as a way to reduce our prison population and to safely release people back into the public, once they have completed their sentence and want to become productive members of society.”

The six-month treatment program will be available at seven correctional facilities across the state and will be conducted by trained drug counselors and drug program specialists.

The grant is made possible from funds from the U.S. Department of Justice. The Law Enforcement and Traffic Safety Division of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) will be responsible for administering the funds.

“This valuable partnership is a major step in helping inmates transition back into society,” ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. said. “Through this program, inmates who have struggled with drug dependency can take control of their lives and prepare to become responsible citizens once released. Public safety and our communities win when inmates are able to break an addiction.”