Drug Court is an intensive program that is a minimum of two-and-a-half years in length. There is an intensive screening process to become eligible for this program. It is a collaborative effort with law enforcement, courts, probation, treatment professionals and the Prosecutor’s office. Usually the program will begin with a period of incarceration followed by either work release or house arrest, before transitioning to an intensive probation component. The Drug Court uses frequent drug screens and other treatment resources to facilitate sobriety among its participants. Since its inception in 2005, the Hancock County Drug Court Program has helped dozens of people obtain sobriety. This increases public safety, because sober people are less likely to commit crimes than those with substance abuse problems.
- BitterPill.In.Gov: Prescription drug abuse is a nationwide epidemic that affects people from all walks of life. This site from the Indiana Attorney General’s prescription drug abuse prevention task force, helps educate consumers about prescription drug abuse, signs and symptoms of addiction.
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): This is an international group of men and women who have overcome a drinking problem. This is a self-supporting, multi-racial, apolitical organization, which has meetings available in and around Hancock County. Membership is available to anyone wishing to tackle a drinking problem.
- Al-Anon Family Group: This organization tailors to the friends and family members of those with drinking problems. They share and learn from one another’s experiences and apply the principles of the Al-Anon program. Meetings are available in Hancock County.
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD): With more than 1,200 victim advocates nationwide, MADD focuses on the victims of drunk drivers and volunteers are available 24/7/365 to help families and loved ones. There is an Indiana chapter.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): This government agency leads public health efforts to advocate for the advancement of behavioral health issues. The department is dedicated to reducing the use of substance abuse and mental illness.
The significant increase in Heroin use, over the past several years, has had a major impact on our community. Sober people are substantially less likely to commit crimes than those addicted to drugs.
In response to these facts the Prosecutor’s office, together with law enforcement, courts, probation and treatment professionals, created the Heroin Protocol program in the spring of 2016. This program holds offenders accountable for their crimes while protecting the public. The program facilitates major substance abuse resources for defendants, consists of some initial jail time, placement in a treatment facility for a minimum of 90 days and intensive supervision from the probation department.
There are a limited number of openings for this program and each individual must undergo a thorough screening process to be considered.
Drug crimes are a serious problem in Hancock County, with the prosecution of drug dealers rising significantly in 2017. Because of the seriousness, and volume, of the crimes, the Prosecutor’s office assigned a singular prosecutor to work exclusively on these cases. David Thornburg, Felony Drug Deputy Prosecutor, is responsible for all drug-related cases.