board of directors to discuss introduction of drug counseling in prison | New

CADILLAC – Additional addiction counseling may soon be available in prisons in Wexford and Missaukee counties.

The Wexford County Council of Commissioners on Wednesday is expected to discuss a memorandum of understanding with Catholic Human Service that, once in place, would allow the county to use county tax revenues to fund drug treatment and the prevention service in prison.

The county finance committee recommended that the board approve the Catholic Social Services memorandum of understanding.

The Northern Michigan regional entity manages Medicaid funding for behavioral health and substance use disorder services in Wexford County. Half of the county’s alcohol tax revenue is directed to the regional entity to fund a variety of drug treatment and prevention services. A portion of this income is available to County Wexford through a grant process. 28th Circuit Court Judge Jason Elmore has applied for a grant from the regional entity to fund a counselor who will visit Wexford and Missaukee prisons.

According to information from Wednesday’s diary and the grant application submitted by Elmore, he said: “This is a collaboration between the counties of Wexford and Missaukee and Catholic Human Services. The funds will be used to hire a consultant specializing in the treatment of substance use disorders.

If approved, the counselor would be at Wexford County Jail three days a week and Missaukee County Jail two days a week to reduce recidivism for people in the criminal justice system in both counties.

The regional entity approved the grant and it was also reported that Catholic Human Services would take care of the financial administration of the grant and quarterly reporting, which the action of the council would allow.

The regional entity also drafts a grant agreement which, once received, will be forwarded to the commissioners for review.

Wexford County Sheriff Trent Taylor said his office has been involved in the process and staff at the jail and sheriff’s office agree it’s a great idea. He also said he made a peer support counselor available to the general population of the prison and halfway house. This also allows them to have follow-ups with the counselor after their release from prison.

Also during the meeting, the commissioners are expected to discuss and possibly approve the Wexford County Council’s 2022 budget on aging. The finance committee has already reviewed it and suggests that the full board approve it. The Department of Seniors’ Services is demanding that the board approve the budget proposed by the council on aging before the mileage funds are released.

For Wednesday’s meeting, the public can attend four ways: in person, by computer, by smartphone or by phone.

To participate by computer, go to zoom.us and click “Join” in the upper right corner and use the meeting ID 749 610 4141. If you are using a smartphone, install the Zoom In app, launch the call. Zoom application and join using meeting ID 749 610 4141.

Finally, if someone is attending the meeting by phone, they should dial the toll-free number 646-876-9923 and enter the meeting ID 749 610 4141 #.

To view the full program, visit wexfordcounty.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/November-3-2021.pdf.

The commissioners are scheduled to meet at 4 p.m. on Wednesday in the Commissioners’ Room on the third floor of the County Wexford Courthouse, 437 E. Division St.

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