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By EARL RAY TOMBLIN

CHARLESTON – I am pleased to announce $250,000 in grant funding to support the ongoing implementation of the Treatment Supervision Program initiative, part of my administration's landmark justice reinvestment efforts.

By continuing to expand access to substance abuse treatment and recovery programs, we can get those struggling with addiction the help they need, reduce recidivism and allow those on the road to recovery return to their families, communities and workplaces. This grant funding is a critical step in our efforts to stop drug abuse from affecting the lives of so many West Virginians.

Funding will be made available to five projects across the state and will assist target communities in the pilot phase of the Justice Reinvestment Treatment Supervision program, by supporting outpatient and intensive outpatient services, community engagement specialists and recovery coaches in West Virginia. These awards represent the latest round of awards in a phased-in approach ultimately designed to provide similar services statewide.

United Summit Center Inc. was awarded $180,000 for two outpatient/intensive outpatient sites that will be located in Monongalia and Randolph counties. A community engagement specialist and a recovery coach also were awarded to serve Monongalia County. United Summit Center's existing outpatient/intensive outpatient sites in Harrison and Lewis counties will partner with previously awarded JRIs in the area to offer treatment services in remaining high-need counties.

Jefferson County Day Report Center Inc. was awarded $70,000 for two recovery coach positions that will serve residents of Berkeley, Jefferson, Mineral and Morgan counties, which are eligible for JRI programming.

The West Virginia Justice Reinvestment Treatment Supervision Grant Program was established to build new and enhance existing relationships between behavioral health providers and the criminal justice system in West Virginia, with the common goal of addressing the needs of a target offender population. Grant funding is administered cooperatively by the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety's Division of Justice and Community Services and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities.

Since I took office, West Virginia has committed $9 million toward community-based substance abuse treatment for individuals supervised in the community. Nearly $2 million has been previously awarded to create or expand drug treatment services in nine locations serving 18 counties.

Tomblin is West Virginia's governor.

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