(OWEGO, NY) On Tuesday, Senator Fred Akshar joined Tioga County Sheriff Gary Howard and Tioga County Legislature Chairwoman Marte Sauerbrey to announce $156,000 in state funding that will be used to bring jail-based substance use disorder treatment and transition services to the Tioga County Correctional Facility.
As co-Chair of the Senate Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, Senator Akshar advocated for, and secured, $156,000 in the 2018-19 State Budget to help implement, support, and expand these vital services in Tioga County.
Tioga County Sheriff Gary Howard said, “For me, it's fantastic because right now we don't have these services at the Tioga County Jail. This will fill a much-needed void for individuals who find themselves incarcerated because of their addiction. We've been without assistance in recovery and this funding comes at a perfect time.”
Senator Fred Akshar said, "Jail-based addiction services are essential to our multi-faceted approach in fighting the heroin and opioid epidemic. Study after study shows that these services substantially reduce recidivism and more effectively help individuals who find themselves incarcerated get back on the right track. By receiving treatment while on the inside, they're put in a vastly better position to stay in recovery and become more productive members of society on the outside. I look forward to seeing the positive outcomes and tangible results achieved through this program as Sheriff Howard puts these funds to good use in Tioga County.”
Tioga County Legislature Chairwoman Martha Sauerbrey said, “Senator Akshar continues to be a great partner to Tioga County and we sincerely appreciate his help bringing this lifesaving treatment to our local jail. These programs will help Sheriff Howard keep our community safer and help those in jail battling addiction get back on the right track.”
The funding will help implement addiction counseling for inmates in the Tioga County Jail along with support services to help bridge the gap for individuals transitioning into community-based recovery upon release. Tioga County plans to oversee the program through the Department of Mental Hygiene, with the funding allocated through OASAS.
Lori Morgan, Director of Community Services for Tioga County Mental Hygiene, said, “This funding will help address gaps in the treatment continuum. It will allow the County to provide a range of treatment and transitional services to people suffering from addiction. This investment will save lives, reduce recidivism, and offer people an opportunity for recovery.”
County jails that offer treatment services have seen significant benefits, including decreased recidivism rates and cost savings. In Albany County, the SHARP (Sheriff’s Heroin Addiction Recovery Program) program has reduced re-incarceration by 28 percent for those who participated in the treatment program.
For more information, contact the Sheriff’s Office at 607-687-1010