Freeholder Christopher Rafano Announces the
Middlesex County Adult Substance Abuse Program

 

I am very pleased to be here today to announce a new program, which will be available to qualified inmates at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Facility. It has become clear that substance abuse plays a role directly, or indirectly, in the offenses of many of the 800 inmates presently in this facility. While our primary responsibility is to provide efficient, safe, and secure custody of the inmates in this facility, we believe that it is in the best interest of both the inmate and the community-at-large to deal with this underlying problem of substance abuse.

Therefore, I, together with Criminal Assignment Judge Barnett Hoffman and his staff, and Warden Michael Abode and his staff, with substance abuse experts from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) have originated a voluntary program designed to help inmates with substance abuse problems, who are incarcerated at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Facility.

It is our hope that this program, which we call ASAP, the initials for Adult Substance Abuse Program, will help eliminate substance abuse as the root cause of repeat offenses.

This program will be available, on a volunteer basis, for qualified pre-trial inmates. It will be operated by the staff of UMDNJ, the Criminal Case Manager's office, the Pre-trial Intervention Unit, and TASC (treatment assignment services for the courts) unit, and the staff at the Adult Correction Facility and will identify potential participants from the existing inmate population. Those inmates, who are appropriately motivated and are identified as good candidates for the program, will be referred to the Presiding Criminal Judge for final approval.

We hope that this program, which includes screening, assessment, treatment and post-release referral for continued substance abuse treatment and prevention, will be effective for those inmates who participate. It is our hope that we will be able to eliminate both the substance abuse problem, as well as repeat incarceration.

We have set aside a complete housing unit and have identified sources of funding for this program, and it is our hope that it will be effective enough to eliminate drug-related crimes, make our streets safer, reduce our inmate population, and result in savings in the cost of operation of the Adult Correction Facility. It is also our hope that this program will help participating inmates to become productive and law-abiding members of our Middlesex County community rather than repeat offenders.