WARSAW — With restrictions in place at the Kosciusko County Jail due to the COVID-19 pandemic, classes involving the Jail Chemical Addiction Program (JCAP) have, for the most part, been put on hold.
Weekly individual counseling sessions and SMART Recovery classes are the exceptions, said JCAP Coordinator Courtney Jenkins.
“Quality Correctional Care provides the mental health services for JCAP and because they are contracted with the jail to provide health care and mental health services, we have been able to continue with the individual counseling for our JCAP participants,” Jenkins said.
SMART Recovery is a class facilitated by Jenkins, who is employed by the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office.
The class is offered only to JCAP participants, who are already housed in a separate block, away from the general population. Because Jenkins is a jail employee, she is permitted to be in the block with inmates.
“I keep my distance and make sure to wash my hands well before going into the block and when I come out,” Jenkins said. “No other inmates come in or out of the JCAP blocks, and only jail employees are permitted into the jail at this time.”
SMART Recovery is an evidence-based recovery program that helps give participants insight into their thinking and decision making patterns and helps them develop appropriate ways to problem-solve and cope with triggers and urges.
While there is no clear indication when regular classes will resume, Jenkins said they are doing their best to keep everyone motivated.
Jenkins said one way they’ve been able to keep the participants’ busy is by having them complete the service hours required for their upcoming MRT class.
Each participant needs to complete 20 hours of service. Jenkins said women in JCAP have already painted the new video court room and this week will be painting the dispatch area and the jail commander’s office.
The men in JCAP recently painted the jail kitchen. Jenkins said this was a major job that took the men over 30 hours to complete.
According to Jenkins, Tina Truex of Truex Embroidery and Screen Printing gifted the female JCAP participants with workout sweats and t-shirts.
“This very generous surprise has really lifted the girls’ spirits and helped to motivate them to keep working out,” Jenkins said.
Dugan Jullian of Delta Fitness has sent workouts to the men three times a week, each week since classes were put on hold.
“Dugan’s dedication to the men has been such a morale booster,” Jenkins said. “Getting the new workout is a highlight for the men.”
“It’s a really tricky time for the participants. They’re in limbo,” Jenkins said. “There are so many unknowns outside these walls. Participants have limited access to the outside world — all they know is what they see on the news and hear from friends and family.”
Jenkins said the uncertainty is hard on the inmates, as they worry and wonder if their family’s needs are being met.
“We’re doing our best to keep them properly informed without adding any undue stress,” Jenkins said.
While the future remains unclear for the current group of men and women, Jenkins said JCAP will be restarted as soon as possible. Several contingency plans are in place, said Jenkins.
“We continue to receive texts and emails from all of our contributors asking how the participants are doing and letting us know they are praying for them,” Jenkins said. “Passing these messages along to the men and women helps them know they are not forgotten and speaks to the level of dedication our contributors have to the participants and the program.”