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From the Office of Assemblyman Billy Jones

Assemblyman Jones helps secure funding to deter crime through rehabilitation

Assemblyman Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay) announced that the 2017-18 state budget he helped pass includes $17,500 in funding to create a substance use disorder counselor position at the Clinton County Jail in partnership with the Champlain Valley Family Center.

“Time and time again, those struggling with addiction are rearrested on similar charges without the chance to break their dependency,” Jones said. “By creating a substance use disorder counselor position at our county jail, we are giving inmates a chance to change their future and get on the road to recovery and in turn, reduce crimes related to addiction.”

The funding was made available through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, which aims to reduce crime and violence across the state. The grant will help establish an approximately 35-hour weekly program operated by the Champlain Valley Family Center. Clinton County Jail and the family center have also committed $12,000 each to jump-start the initiative.

Clinton County Sheriff, David Favro praised the Assemblyman’s proactive efforts to secure this funding and is hopeful the Byrne Grant will prove vital in combatting the opioid crisis.

“I am honored to have Billy Jones as our Assemblyman! He has the foresight to recognize the critical value of combating the heroin opiate epidemic at the source and not the result! This grant shall serve as a seed for change in our drug problem in Clinton County”, said Favro.

“This grant funding will assure that Substance Use Disorder (SUD) services will be available to inmates at Clinton County Jail, “said Connie Wille of the Champlain Valley Family Center.” Inmates will participate in comprehensive SUD evaluations, received education about addictions, and will receive referrals to treatment prior to their release dates.  Champlain Valley Family Center also will be providing education and support to family members of the incarcerated population.”

“Over the years, Clinton County Jail has experienced high rates of recidivism due to probation violations and rearrests, often linked to substance use disorder. Expanding treatment options is essential to tackling recidivism and helping those struggling with drug dependence overcome the disease”, Jones said.

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