Meth overtakes opioids according to Boone County agency

GPS BRACELET: Boone County Community Corrections leases these ankle monitors for the growing program. People sentenced to home detention pay at least $12 a day to participate.

If you need evidence that the drug of choice these days has switched from opioids to methamphetamine, consider these stats from Boone County Community Corrections.

The agency that handles work release and home detention recently gathered statistics from 2018. What the agency found is that positive urine drug screens for clients were more than 3 to 1 for users of amphetamines. There were 236 positive results for amphetamines compared with only 75 positive hits for opiates.

It’s just one of the interesting facts about the agency that works in tandem with probation. BCCC Executive Director Michael Nance said the alternative to incarceration program has been growing every year. Nance said when he became executive director three years ago the department was averaging 40 to 45 clients a day. Now it’s up to 85 to 90 clients on average, per day. Most are on home detention, with an average of 12 in the work release program.

“We served 600-plus clients last year,” Nance said “We’re continuing to go up.”

There are many reasons for the increase in clients. Nance said the local option income or LIT has given police departments in the county the money to hire more officers and more officers equals more arrests. The other factor is sentencing.

“Crimes that five or 10 years ago would’ve been sent to prison are now being put on home detention,” he said. “Basically, there’s a push within the state for drug offenders, non-violent offenders to be given an opportunity at community supervision or community corrections prior to going to (Department of Corrections). Whereas, five, 10, 15 years ago that wasn’t the case.

Those clients were being sent to prison to start with.”

The average sentence on home detention is 250 days, Nance said.

Each client pays their own way, like rental on the GPS ankle monitors. Clients pay the equivalent of one hour of pay to be on home detention or work release programs. Nance said the least a client can pay is $12 a day.

Last year, the BCCC set a record for income collected of nearly $447, 000. The program doesn’t use Boone County taxpayer dollars. Plus, the BCCC saves money.

Nance figured the agency saved the taxpayers $1.5 million from the cost of incarceration in the Boone County Jail.

A new pre-trial program starting next year is estimated to save another $1.1 million.

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