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Criminal Code Changes May Keep Uninsured From Rehab

Two inmates at the Monroe County Jail.

The Indiana Senate is considering an overhaul of the Indiana criminal codes that would decrease the prison time for non-violent offenders and put a greater emphasis on rehabilitation. Indiana experts say there may be room for criminals in rehab facilities, but it may not be simple to place them.

Some criminals receive social or drug rehabilitation services in county jails, but many others are referred to outside facilities during their incarceration.

Jackson and Jennings County Director of Community Corrections J.L. Brewer says the issue criminals face is not the capacity of rehabilitation centers, but access to them.

“There are certain places that it is difficult to gain access to those if you are uninsured or under insured,” Brewery says.

Brewer says he refers many patients to rehabilitation centers such as Centerstone, Polarity Counseling and Harbor Lights. Harbor Lights is a Salvation Army sponsored facility that focuses on drug abuse and addiction rehabilitation.

Clinical director Ken Shields says he thinks Harbor Lights will be able to accommodate more court-ordered patients.

“A lot of it is going to depend on the amount of the influx, but at this point, you know, we do have the capacity,” Shields says.

If the bill, which would make sweeping reforms to the Indiana criminal code, passes the Senate as it did the House, the changes would take effect in 2014.

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