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Grant would focus on rehab for drug users

Seeking $160,000 for program


Reaching out to those convicted of nonviolent drug crimes is the focus of a drug diversion program county prosecuting attorney Brigham Anderson wants to introduce to the county.

“It is trying to help decrease the amount of people in jail,” Anderson said.

To make that a reality Anderson has applied to the Ohio Criminal Justice Service for a $160,000 grant.

“When you have low-level nonviolent drug offenders, put them through counseling and if they stick through the parameters of our program it would keep them out of jail,” he said.

Anderson wants to conduct this program in cooperation with the STAR Community Justice Center in Franklin Furnace and the Counseling Center in Portsmouth. It would help both in-house and outpatients.

“I believe we cannot arrest our way out of the drug problem,” Anderson said. “We have to treat these people. I am not talking about people who break into homes. It is low-level theft. They are addicted to drugs. It is destroying their lives. If we can get them early and treat them, they can be productive members of society.”

Anderson expects to learn if the county will get the grant in September or October.