Offenders with addictions targeted for rehab program in jail
PLAQUEMINE- About 30 inmates at the Iberville Parish jail are part of a pilot program that will target their addictions that played a part in sending them to jail.
With the help of therapists from Woodlake Addiction and Recovery, at least 30 inmates have been participating in rehab four days a week in hopes they'll be clean when they are released.
Dylan Lowe said bad choices got him locked up.
"Heroin and meth controlled my life for the past four years," Lowe said. "I've been sober the last few months and feel great."
Lowe is among the 30 inmates that are participating in the program. All of the others we spoke with agreed that they have a reason to be excited about a second chance.
Warden Joseph Pete Edwards said the positive effects have been remarkable.
"You can see the changes in the inmates that are participating in this," Edwards said. "They are willingly doing it with promises basically of nothing but self-help."
Sheriff Brett Stassi said for the past eight months he's been working on this program. It was only an idea at first, but became a reality two months ago.
"We have a list of everyone who is participating," Sheriff Stassi said. "We are going to take those numbers and... as they transition through the court system or get their time, we will be able to start to track how many we have saved."
All of this is in hopes that the drugs that led them to jail in the first place won't become a last resort to which they can go back.
"When they get out, they will have some coping skills and won't go back to the same way of life that brought them to the jail," Stassi said.
The pilot program is being paid for by Woodlake, with no cost to taxpayers. A similar program is currently underway in Lafayette.