Clark County Circuit Court No. 1

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- A new court in Clark County, Indiana, is aiming to slow down the revolving door of repeat offenders and break the cycle of incarceration.

Clark County Circuit No. 1 Judge Andrew Adams sees the same people inside his courtroom more often than he'd like.

"Usually, I tell them I'd like to see you in a different environment," Adams said. "I'd like to see you succeed."

So Adams decided to do something about it. Last month, the Clark County Addiction Treatment and Support Program (CCATS) started under his leadership. It's not specifically labeled as a drug court or a mental health court, but blends the two. Adams said it's a "problem-solving" court.

"To break the cycle, it's a change of behavior," he said. "It's not just abstinence from drugs. You've gotta change their mentality."

The program targets repeat offenders with addiction and mental health issues, like people who have charges stacking up from probation violations.

Adams hopes the people who complete the program can get the tools and support they need to turn their lives around and stay out of his courtroom.

"It's much easier just to go serve your time and go back on probation then to come into this court,” he said. “And I'll tell you that. I tell people that all the time. If you want recovery, it's a fight."

Participants in the new court must enter a long-term inpatient treatment program. They can seek treatment though the state Department of Corrections, the Clark County Jail's MAST recovery program or through private treatment facilities.

"Each program is going to be individualized to the particular person ... what they're needs are as well as what we can provide,” Adams said.

After they complete the treatment, participants will continue to have regular visits with a case manager and drug screenings several times a week. It's an intensive program that requires a lot of work, but Adams believes it can have life-changing results.

"Once we demonstrate it's working, they will have a lot more people willing to do it,” Adams said. “Everybody's reluctant for change until they see success."

The court is still accepting referrals for cases if people are willing to give the program a shot.

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