Floyd County Cares hopes to save lives after 23-year-old addict died in jail
Hanna Robb died at the Floyd County Jail while serving time for failing to appear in court. During her stay, she was going through a heroin withdrawal.
NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) – A first of its kind group is having a long overdue conversation about drug addiction in Floyd County.
That group is called Floyd County Cares.
It started after 23-year-old Hanna Robb died in the Floyd County Jail.
With a bright smile, Hanna had her life in front of her, but her family says she was held back because of a heroin addiction. On March 31, she died at the jail while serving time for failing to appear in court. During her stay she was going through a heroin withdrawal.
“We think that this death was entirely preventable, that they were indifferent to her condition, which was deteriorating and should have been obvious to them that it was deteriorating,” said Attorney Brandon W. Smith.
Smith is working on bringing a lawsuit against the Floyd County Sheriff's Department.
In the meantime, Hanna Rob's father, Mark Robb is focusing his energy on helping other addicts.
Floyd County Cares was started four weeks after Hanna's death.
“What we're trying to do is determine who's having issues, what the systemic issues are, who has gifts to bring to the table and how we can begin just as a group of citizens from the bottom up,” said Floyd County Cares organizer Kathy Copas.
Sixty people attended the meeting Thursday night, including officials, business owners, citizens and those battling an addiction.
“Once you get down so far, it almost seems impossible to get back out,” said Deann Wheat.
Wheat has been clean 100 days, but her brother still struggles.
“As heartless as it sounds, there are some days I wish he would just go ahead and just die so he's not miserable anymore. But I know when I lose my brother I’m going to lose my mama too because she isn’t going to be able to handle it,” Wheat said.
And just like Hanna's story, she's afraid she could lose him while behind bars.
“For the first 36 days he did nothing but stand in the shower because that hot water that he could get was the only relief he had because they give you absolutely nothing,” she said.
The expectant lawsuit is hoping to prevent jail deaths.
“They obviously don't have correct procedures or they're not following them because this is entirely preventable. They deal with heroin withdrawals every day in jail,” Smith said.
The Floyd County Sheriff's Department would not comment on the Hanna Robb case due to the impending lawsuit.
If you would like to be apart of Floyd County Cares, future meetings are posted on its Facebook page.
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