Jail program brings treatment, counseling services


The Dubois County Security Center is trying to implement treatment and counseling services utilizing the limited space it has.

The programming will start in January with four to six female inmates, and operate mostly in their cellblock, Sheriff Tom Kleinhelter explained Thursday.

“We think we can do most of our programming in one cellblock,” he said. “Because we don’t have room, conference rooms and things like that, to do programming.”

The limited space has been the main hurdle to having the services for inmates. But utilizing the cellblock inmates reside in is an alternative Kleinhelter believes will work.

“We are trying to identify four to six females, and do the sessions in the cellblock,” he said.

LifeSpring Health Systems representatives were at the security center Thursday interviewing inmates to see who is interested.

“We’re trying to get the inmates who want to do this,” Kleinhelter said, “the ones that have a desire to quit using and to stay clean.”

A representative of LifeSpring will meet with the female inmates in a group session, as well as have one-on-one sessions. “The group sessions will all happen in one block, so that they’re all together,” Kleinhelter said. “A separate room, like the attorney-client room, will be utilized for the one-on-one meetings.”

LifeSpring is a Jeffersonville-based company that has a center in Jasper. It is sanctioned by the state, and the county is mandated to pay an annual fee, which is determined by the state based on the county’s population. Former company Southern Hills Counseling Center merged with LifeSpring in 2018.

“The group they have will be more of a group session as far as treatment and life skills, like money management, how to function on a day-to-day basis. The one-on-one will be more of counseling,” Kleinhelter said. “So it will be a combination of both.”

LifeSpring was able to obtain grant funding to start the programming. “When they got approved for that, it put the ball in motion a lot quicker than what we anticipated it being,” the sheriff said. “It’s something that I’ve wanted to do. We just never had the knowledge of how to do it because of our lack of space here. We met with LifeSpring, and we liked what they were proposing. And they liked where we can do it in a group setting in our one cellblock. And it snowballed into getting this started as soon as we can.”

This will be done on a volunteer basis. Inmates will not be forced into the programming.

“This is not court-ordered,” Kleinhelter said. “As far as I am concerned, and talking to LifeSpring, the prosecution, the court system will not even know they’re on this program, unless they tell them.”

Once the person leaves the security center, she will still have the support of LifeSpring.

“They can call LifeSpring immediately and get in, instead of having a wait period,” Kleinhelter said. “So there will be no lapse in care once they get released. This will hopefully keep them on the good path.”

If the programming goes well, it would likely be expanded to include male inmates.

“I think we could possibly do this here, if we do it similar to how we’re doing the women,” Kleinhelter said. “But we’re going to start slow. If it works with the women, we’ll see how we can advance it and make it all work for the males. If it doesn’t, we’ll re-evaluate.”

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