Clark County

Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush hails $2.1 Clark Drug Court grant

Calls program a model for combatting the drug crisis

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind.  – Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush today congratulated Clark Circuit Court Judge Vicki Carmichael on receiving a $2.1 million grant to help preserve families being torn apart by drug abuse.

Chief Justice Rush visited the Clark County Circuit Court 4 to discuss the magnitude of a $2.1 million federal grant to the Clark County Family Drug Treatment Court.

A five-year grant was awarded last month to the Bridge to Success Project, a new family reunification program within the Clark County Family Treatment Drug Court run by Carmichael in Clark Circuit Court Number 4.

The grant, awarded May 25 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will allow Bridge to Success to serve at least 175 families over the five-year period.

Chief Justice Rush, who co-chairs the National Judicial Opioid Task Force said, “Judge Carmichael’s work with the Family Treatment Drug Court is a model for how courts can help combat the drug crisis.”

The chief justice has pledged support of the Judicial Branch to fight the opioid epidemic. “I am pleased Clark County intends to be on the frontline helping families as we work together to overcome the opioid epidemic,” Rush said. “This is a situation where well-reasoned, evidence-based judicial interventions can get people to treatment, give consequences, cut the supply, support families and save lives.”

The Bridge to Success project provides substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation services to parents whose children have been removed or are at risk of having their children removed due to issues with drug and/or alcohol abuse, along with services to the children with the aim of reuniting them as stable, drug-free families.

Two caseworkers will be added to the Family Treatment Drug Court under the grant to expand its services through Bridge to Success. Judge Carmichael, who founded the drug court in 2011 said, “This is one way that we can help break the cycle of addiction and broken families; and the grant means we can do it at little or no cost to Clark County taxpayers.”

“We have operated this program with only one County-paid employee for the past seven years, and this will allow us to offer much needed services for so many more families and children in Clark County.”

Program participants receive a wide range of services while being held accountable to take advantage of the opportunities to help their families heal, recover and be reunited.

Participants have weekly courtroom updates with the judge in a system of collaboration with the Indiana Department of Child Services along with treatment and counseling professionals. “This holistic approach increases the likelihood that drug offenders will transform as contributing members of society and positive models for their children for overcoming problems,” Judge Carmichael said.

Categories: Clark County

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