Sheriff Dan McClain recently spoke at the Scottsburg Kiwanis Club dinner/meeting at the Quality Inn in Scottsburg. Pictured with Sheriff McClain are Kiwanis member, Judge Nick South and Kiwanis President, David Wilson. Sheriff McClain thanked the Kiwanis members for all they do to help the young people of Scott County. He gave us an update on the status of the new jail, Scott County battle with the H.I.V. epidemic and the first homicide in Scott County in four years.
The construction of the new addition to the Scott County Jail is nearing completion scheduled for late November. It will be ready for occupancy in January. The Sheriff’s Department needs approval from the County Council for staffing to operate the jail. The County Council also will need to decide whether to renovate or replace the old jail. The Sheriff’s Department operates the Scott County Jail. The jail holds people until their trial is completed. The jail also hold drug de-toxification and mental illness patients. Effective January 1, 2016, people convicted for less than one year in the State of Indiana will remain in the County Jail to serve their sentence. A key policy issue is the type of rehabilitation to be available to the inmates. It is better to provide rehabilitation and drug de-toxification before release, rather than to release a person back into the community without any preparation for the future. Rehabilitation begins with drug de-toxification for those who are addicted. Many offenders are drug addicts who steal to feed their addiction. It is best to begin the rehabilitation process before a person is arrested for a crime. Usually a person fails re-habilitation three times before they succeed. Sheriff McClain advocates a work-release program for qualified inmates, so inmates can work during the day and be tested for drug and alcohol use upon returning when their work shift is completed.
Opiate-based pain medications are a nation-wide problem. Unlike drugs like methamphetamines and cocaine, which are always illegal, prescription opiate-based pain pills are legal when used by the person for whom the prescription was written. They are illegal only when used by a person without a prescription or when misused by the patient. Better tamper-proof formulations would help prevent the abuse of these drugs. The needle-exchange program in has helped stop the rapid spread of H.I.V. in Scott County. There are 181 people who have tested positive for H.I.V., but there are 500 intravenous drug users in Scott County. Some people have not been tested, and the Sheriff’s Department cannot require that an inmate in the jail be tested for H.I.V.
The first homicide in four years in Scott County occurred last week. The Indiana State Police was immediately called to assist in the investigation. Three suspects have been arrested, and indictments are expected next week. Sheriff McClain praised the teamwork between his investigators and the State Police.
The Scottsburg Kiwanis Club thanked Sheriff Dan McClain for his informative presentation, and for his service to the citizens of Scott County.