Treatment Unit for Meth Addicts Opens in Indiana

BUNKER HILL, Ind. – The Midwest continues to struggle with a growing population of methamphetamine addicts and the violence and criminal behavior that can accompany such addiction. Now, a new prison unit at the Miami Correctional Facility seeks to help inmates kick the habit before they are released back into society, where addiction relapses are common.

In Indiana, the State Police arrested more than 1,200 people on meth-related charges last year. That figure does not include arrests made by rural sheriff?s departments and small-town police forces. In addition. 1,549 meth labs were destroyed in 2004. State officials hope that the new prison treatment program will help end the growing meth problem.

The program, named Clean Lifestyle is Freedom Forever, or CLIFF, is operating in a self-contained wing of the Miami facility that can hold up to 204 inmates. The program runs for 15 hours a day, seven days a week, and is run by prison staff and outside drug experts. The program is being paid for with existing funds, taken from other prison programs.

Inmates who complete the voluntary nine-to-12 month program become eligible to shorten their sentences by up to six months. At the launch of the program, 26 inmates checked into the unit. As many as 900 inmates may qualify for treatment because their convictions relate to meth use or production or related crimes. If the treatment is found to be effective, the pilot program may expand into other state prisons.

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