I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Funding for Drug Patches

Drug patches are deemed an effective deterrent to relapses by offenders.  How will we ensure the funding for these patches remains stable?

Drug patches keep folks on probation off of drugs--they work.

Unfortunately-the funding for the patches is drying up locally and several judges have asked that we fund the purchase of these patches going forward.

from a judge's recent correspondence 

"I was recently informed that the County would be unable to further fund drug patches for sentenced state probationers. Although I do believe that the patches are very cost effective, based upon observation and defendant testimony, I understand County budget constraints.  The patches help probationers maintain their sobriety, avoiding future incarceration , family break down, and job loss..There is a problem presented with probationers who were already sentenced with the drug patch as a condition, usually a temporary condition.  If the County could find a way to at least fund those already sentenced, which I believe are a half dozen or so, it would be greatly appreciated. Otherwise we will need to amend those sentences to make other provisions."

I even recently received a recording of an offender in court who successfully completed his probation for a cocaine charge--and he wholeheartedly endorsed a continuation of the program.

I have asked for cost details regarding this patch --and if no funding can be secured I am willing to fund the purchase of patches from my discretionary account so that judges continue to have this option in their sentencing tool kit.

from staff :

"the patches Corrections is providing in-house are $39.50 per patch.  The patches are good for 10-14 days (depending on the conditions in which the patch is worn). Our current cost of incarceration (for FY17 taking into account out of county housing) is $71.80/day."

At today's committee of the whole, we will discuss this and potential funding options for this going forward--to include making an application from the Law Enforcement Trust Fund to pay for these patches.

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