"When you get into that sense of hopelessness and frustration, that is when people might relapse and turn back to drugs," said Keith Tallon, the Vt. Dept. of Corrections Rutland district manager of probation and parole. He says re-adjusting to life after prison can be difficult, but for former inmates with drug addictions it's even harder, and relapse is on the rise.
Of nearly 200 offenders released since January, 47-percent returned to prison as a result of substance abuse. Tallon says one of the main issues is lack of treatment on the inside."The big issue is bed availability, and there is a lot of competition due to the seriousness of the drug problem in the state at this time, so it sometimes can be up to four months before we can get an offender into treatment," Tallon said.
With a long wait-list for treatment behind bars, many inmates are released before they kick their addictions. Tallon says sometimes when addicts relapse, corrections will put them back in jail in an effort to get them help.
"Many times people are at the moment to accept treatment when they are arrested. Well, it's not available right now," said Rutland City Police Chief James Baker.
Baker says the lack of treatment for offenders is far-reaching, and the quality of life in the city. Baker says thefts continue to be the top crime in the city. Whether an individual hooked on opiates is shoplifting downtown, or stealing money from family members, Baker says these addictions tear the community apart. "We're not necessarily looking at violent criminals because we don't have a high number of violent criminals in the community. We have criminals that do a great deal of harm to our community as a result of their addiction," Baker said.
Baker says the police department has been working closely with corrections to increase supervision for individuals deemed most likely to re-offend, but he says hooking addicts up with services is the only way to work toward a long term solution. "I'm not sure we will ever have the answer to that, but the fact of the matter is, we have to get better at delivering treatment closer to the time the person feels they are at rock bottom," Baker said.
Both Baker and Tallon say the methadone clinic scheduled to open in Rutland in November will bring individuals with addictions one step closer to recovery.
Monday, December 9 2013 5:58 AM EST2013-12-09 10:58:56 GMT
An American singer with Vermont ties is making waves with her music halfway across the globe. Jennifer Grout has emerged as the unlikely singing sensation on the overseas reality show Arabs Got Talent. UnlikelyMore >>
An American singer with Vermont ties is making waves with her music halfway across the globe.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 5:51 AM EST2013-12-09 10:51:48 GMT
Usually the Lake Placid Volunteer Ambulance Service is busy saving lives or responding to emergencies. But right now, members are selling Christmas trees to raise money for the finishing touches on theirMore >>
Many different groups sell Christmas trees this time of year to raise money for their organization. And for the third year, that includes an ambulance service.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 5:44 AM EST2013-12-09 10:44:43 GMT
Police say a Killington driver hit and killed a New Hamphire man. They say 26-year-old Kyle Wilson of Enfield went out for a walk overnight Saturday in Killington and never came back. Friends went outMore >>
Police say a Killington driver hit and killed a New Hamphire man.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 11:56 PM EST2013-12-09 04:56:59 GMT
An Enfield, New Hampshire man is dead. And a Killington driver has been charged in connection with the death. It happened Saturday night on the Killington Road. Police say 26-year-old Kyle Wilson wentMore >>
An Enfield, New Hampshire man is dead. And a Killington driver has been charged in connection with the death. More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 10:36 PM EST2013-12-09 03:36:50 GMT
A Burlington congregation made a short pilgrimage to it's new home Sunday. The Christ Presbyterian Church has leased property from the University of Vermont for the last 35 years. But UVM has decidedMore >>
The Christ Presbyterian Church has leased property from the University of Vermont for the last 35 years. But UVM has decided not to renew its lease.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 10:35 PM EST2013-12-09 03:35:27 GMT
The 5th annual Festival of Trees in St. Albans is helping to feed the hungry this holiday season. Thirty decorated trees are on display in City Hall. Some of the trees have been auctioned off and theMore >>
Thirty decorated trees are on display in City Hall. Some of the trees have been auctioned off and the rest will be given away at a raffle.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 10:02 PM EST2013-12-09 03:02:41 GMT
Burlington Police are looking for two suspects involved in an assault and robbery.It happened on Front Street Sunday afternoon. The victim told police he was held up at gunpoint by two African AmericanMore >>
Burlington Police are looking for two suspects involved in an assault and robbery.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 9:34 PM EST2013-12-09 02:34:59 GMT
"It was always a lot of fun. It was a great way to dress up and have a fancy party -- something that we usually didn't get to go to, big fancy events," said Ann Cunningham. Cunningham, a native of Burlington,More >>
How do you spread holiday cheer? For decades, one Vermont family has kept up a tradition to throw a christmas party for hundreds of families in need.More >>