Indiana program focuses on getting offenders treatment, not prison sentences


By: Associated Press

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s first statewide program that pays for addiction and mental health treatment for convicted felons sent to community corrections instead of jail or prison is now underway.

Lawmakers provided the voucher-based Recovery Works program $30 million over two years.

Courts, probation and parole officers and community correction managers could begin referring eligible felons to designated treatment centers rather than jail or prison on Nov. 1.

Larry Landis with the Indiana Public Defender Council calls the program a “fundamental shift” away from punishment toward a focus on what might be underlying causes of criminal acts.