Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $999,805)
In September 2020, the Alleghany County/City of Covington Adult Drug Court (ACADTC) heard its first case. In 2022, after COVID restrictions were lifted, participation went from four clients to 20. This brought a realization that at the current staffing levels, a larger number of clients could not be served. Alleghany County is 446 square miles with more than 50% designated at National Forests. This creates a rural service area with limited transportation and low-income housing. Covington is 11.4 miles from Clifton Forge and 15.9 miles from Iron Gate which are the three residential corridors. The County has a history of collaboration and partnership among its service and criminal justice agencies. The Alleghany Highlands Community Services Board (AHCSB) provides all behavioral and substance use services, while District 40 provides probation/parole services.
AHCSB and the court created the ACADTC to serve substance abusing offenders with a pending felony drug or drug driven charges before the Alleghany County Circuit Court who have an identified high criminogenic risk level and high substance use treatment need. The Drug Court Supervisor completes the referral and conducts the Risk and Needs Triage Assessment. Upon meeting the criteria and voluntary participation, a formal clinical assessment is conducted using the Addiction Severity Index. The ASI assesses alcohol and drug abuse as well as functioning in the following domains: medical, employment/support, legal, family history, family/social relationships, and psychiatric problems.
The 2021 Census data shows a combined population of over 20, 900 and the catchment area has had 841 overdose emergency visits with 441 for opioids and 154 for heroin. The violent crime rate is 195.5/100,00 which falls just below the national rate of 205.5/100,000. Additionally, $470 per person is being spent in the County on the opioid crisis. The combination of increased substance use, combined with the rural nature of the county creates the need for enhanced services.
In order to find housing, transportation, increase the number of visits per week, improve family and peer supports, assist with job training and employment skills, and address the mental health needs of the ACADTC participants, three more staff need to be hired: a case manager, a peer recovery specialist, and a pre-trial surveillance officer. To support that the service delivery is meeting client needs, this application will also enhance data reporting and develop and evaluation system. The $999,805 amount requested will provide 48 months of enhancement services.