Kentucky– Madison County Judge Reagan Taylor has had a longstanding dream for an innovative, comprehensive attack on the substance abuse epidemic. With the help of a public-private partnership (P3) the program would allow people in the early stages of substance abuse to be provided with initial detox and then long-term addiction recovery. After this treatment, participants would receive vocational training and then be given internships working for county agencies such as the animal shelter, solid waste and road departments.
These recovering addicts would also be given training in “life skills” and opportunities for transitional housing. The program would then stay in touch with and provide help to participants long after they have been on their own. This type of comprehensive plan to tackle substance abuse is nonexistent anywhere else in the country. The county’s detention center often holds nearly twice the intended number of inmates, with others housed in other counties’ facilities. Local taxpayers already contribute $3.1 million more than statutorily required each year to fund the jail and sheriff’s department. Thus, the program he envisions can be cost effective, he added. While no firm cost estimate can be made until proposals have been received, officials remain hopeful that Taylor’s plan will be a cost-effective solution to this growing problem.
The RFP for this creation of a “healing center” was recently posted on the county’s website. Proposals will be due July 7, but any entity wanting to participate must attend an April 24 meeting. A screening committee will review proposals on July 24 and potential partners will be announced Aug. 2.