The Stark County Jail’s drug and alcohol treatment program has a new director but the same mission.
Adam Rude lost more than his freedom when he went the wrong way on a Massillon street in March and picked up his third drunken-driving conviction.
His two jobs, the driver’s license he had reclaimed just months earlier, the effort spent putting his life together in the three years after his last conviction — gone.
“This time I’ve lost a lot — a lot,” Rude, 31, of Massillon, said during a recent interview at the Stark County Jail, where he’s serving up to 120 days.
Hoping to get and stay sober, Rude is in the jail’s drug and alcohol treatment program for a second time. It helped him the last time he was in jail, he just didn’t stick with what he learned, he said.
“You think you’re invincible and you’re not,” Rude said.
For a decade, Stark County inmates such as Rude have had access to drug and alcohol counseling, first through Quest Recovery Services and since 2006, via the jail administered A.O.D. Treatment Program.
The new program director said she’s staying with that mission.
“We’re going to continue on just like we have been,” said Gina McCoy, who became A.O.D. program director at the end of last month.
McCoy replaces Kelly Sinclair, who had directed treatment since the Quest days.
“We hated to lose her,” Chief Deputy Michael McDonald said.
Leaving the program was a hard decision, Sinclair said, but she is pursuing other opportunities. She wished her successor and the program continued success.
“Nobody knows that jail population better than her,” Sinclair said of McCoy, who has been a full-time counselor with A.O.D. for five years and worked with the earlier Quest program.
Housed in the jail, A.O.D. (the letters stand for alcohol and other drugs) offers a minimum 20-day treatment program for inmates, followed by a three month probationary period that includes weekly meetings and random drug testing. It costs $1,000 per person, which is paid by the participants or by the courts from money collected on drunken-driving fines.
Last year, 280 inmates went through the program, generating nearly $276,000 for the jail. The money pays for the inmates’ meals, program equipment and the salaries of program staff and one corrections officer. It also funds 15 percent of the salaries of three other sheriff’s office employees.
“It’s a nice, self-sufficient program,” Capt. Brian Arnold said.
More importantly, he said, the program helps keep people from cycling through the jail.
Jail overcrowding was the spark behind the program. Chemical dependency is among the factors that repeatedly land people in jail, and the goal was to treat inmates while they were still behind bars, Sinclair said.
Page 2 of 2 - The program hasn’t tracked recidivism numbers since 2009, and they were only yearly statistics, not the three-year studies often used in criminal justice, but anecdotally, most of the inmates who go through the program aren’t coming back, Arnold said.
“Where the county saves money is we don’t have this revolving door,” he said.
Rude is a repeat offender, but he said a person can’t go through the program without learning something. On his second time through treatment, he realizes recovery is a long process.
“It’s an everyday thing,” Rude said. “It’s a lifestyle.”