Government | Sauk Valley News

Lee County considering medication-assisted treatment at jail to aid inmate recovery

DIXON – The Lee County Law Enforcement Center soon may be one of the first jails in the state to offer medication-assisted treatment to help inmates recovery from addiction.

Medication-assisted treatment is the use of medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, which is effective in the treatment of opioid use disorders and can help some people to sustain recovery.

The program was established at four jails in Illinois this year, and Lee County could be the fifth, Lee County Sheriff John Simonton said Wednesday during the county’s public safety, health and judicial committee meeting.

The goal would be to identify inmates suffering from opioid addiction and possible co-existing mental health disorders and try and treat them in the jail with the hope it would be successful for their release.

“We’re hoping to to reduce the recidivism rate and certainly the revolving door inside the jail,” Simonton said.

The jail would partner with Sinnissippi Centers and the Lee County Health Department for the program.

The program would begin with an $18,000 start-up grant to help with medication costs, and they may be able to sustain it through the commissary fund, Simonton said.

“It’s another opportunity for us, along with the Safe Passage Program and the other programs we’ve started in the last few years, to see if we can help some of these folks.”

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers joined Sauk Valley Media in 2016 covering local government in Dixon and Lee County.