• 34°

STAR better alternative

The top man at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said it best.

“I don’t believe prisons are the best method to treat drug addicted Ohioans,” Gary Mohr said at Monday’s open house of the new location of the STAR Community Justice Center in Franklin Furnace. “I believe places like this and judges with the right tools can do a better job.”

STAR recently remodeled the former Ohio River Valley Juvenile Correctional Facility to expand its cognitive behavioral treatment program that is an alternative to going to prison.

There is also an aftercare program so those going through STAR will be less likely to go back to their life of addiction.

Right now the center is licensed to take care of 250 in its in-patient facility, but officials there expect that figure to go up. In fact, STAR may become the largest of its kind in the state.

Ironically, part of the one-time juvenile center was to be turned into the Lawrence County Jail to stop the overcrowding at the current facility on Fifth Street. However, after the county commission signed a lease with the state, it decided it couldn’t afford to make the move.

Fortunately, STAR hasn’t had that problem and can go forward with its extensive plans to free as many as possible from the snares of addiction.