About 25 people, many of them in their twenties, filed into the Crawford County Common Pleas courtroom on Monday for a meeting of their ISAT (Intensive Supervision and Treatment Program) group.
The program began in August of 2015 and was created under the supervision of Judge Sean Leuthold to be used as a method of treatment for drug offenders as part of community control sanctions or as treatment in lieu of conviction. The goals and objectives of the program are to provide supervision and effective treatment for drug offenders or drug-related offenders and to reduce the recidivism rate of drug or drug-related offenders.
“Through this program, we help you obtain your GED, find a job, and get the help you need to get your life together. Or, you can choose not to follow the rules of the program and I will send you to prison,” Leuthold said to the attentive rows of participants.
Leuthold said the program is designed to assist offenders in getting their lives back on track, drug free, which includes frequent drug testing. If the offenders test positive for drugs or do not follow through with assignments and rules of the program, he can and will sentence them on their original felony charge.
Potential participants have to complete a screening and assessment so that it can be determined if they qualify to participate in the program or not.
The program will consider offenders who meet one or more of the following legal eligibility criteria:
· Committed or is accused of committing a drug offense, is drug dependent, likely to become drug dependent or is likely to commit a drug related offense.
· Crawford County resident and eligible for treatment services at the Community Counseling Services, Inc. and/or MaryHaven, Inc.
· Out of county resident who possesses the financial resources to pay the cost of treatment at licensed treatment facility.
Participants can be terminated from the program is they fail to comply with their treatment plan, fail drug or alcohol screens, have a resistance to treatment, if they are convicted of another drug-related crime and if they violate any of the terms of their probation.
The group meets every other Monday in the main courtroom of the Crawford County Courthouse with Leuthold to talk about their progress.
“I don’t want to lose you but I am not going to carry you along,” Leuthold said to the group.
An employment staffing service was on hand Monday for any participants 24 and younger to sign up for help in their job search. A few of the participants are already working but looking for a better job.
Leuthold gives the participants an assignment at each meeting.
“Your assignment this time is to check with Municipal Court to find out what you need to do to get your driver’s license back so that you can start that process,” Leuthold said.
Reach Gasuras on Twitter @kimberlygasuras