"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.
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:29 PM EST2014-03-09 02:29:17 GMT
A warning for pet owners in our region. Coyotes are on the prowl. A biologist in New Hampshire says he has received more than 10 calls recently, in the Keene, New Hampshire area, for a deer that was takenMore >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:21 PM EST2014-03-09 02:21:44 GMT
As spring approaches, many Vermont homeowners prepare to work on their houses - so they head to the Burlington Home Show. And many Vermont small business owners - with their products and services on displayMore >>
Many business owners at the Burlington Home Show say the new health care system in Vermont is helpful, but some say it's causing a real headache.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:07 PM EST2014-03-09 01:07:08 GMT
A rally at the State House in Montpelier Saturday. A passionate group of dozens of women, and men, assembled in front of the State House Saturday for the Women's March for Dignity. They were demandingMore >>
Women's March for Dignity say they are demanding lawmakers support paid sick day policies for all workers.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:42 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:05 GMT
Reporter: "What are some of the most common burn injuries that we see with kids coming into the hospital?" Jim Esdon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center: "This time of year, the glass frontedMore >>
We've had another cold week that's left homeowners cranking the heat. But what does that mean for kids' safety?More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:19 AM EST2014-03-08 15:19:21 GMT
Armed with just two L rods, 87-year-old John Wayne Blassingame starts looking for water by asking yes or no questions. "Does it go past 20 feet, does it go past 30 feet, yah," he says. The rods crossingMore >>
A national organization based in Danville says it is providing resources to people in desperate need to find water.More >>