New jail program helping addicts get clean

Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

Courtesy photo

A new program in the Antrim County Jail is offering support to addicted inmates seeking further treatment after their release from confinement.


BELLAIRE – Antrim County Sheriff Dan Bean and his staff in the Antrim County Jail see a lot of addicts come and go every year; about half the number of prisoners the jail takes in are addicted to narcotics and/or alcohol.

Although a jail sentence of more than two weeks will temporarily "dry out" the addict, and the inmate will be released from jail "clean" and ready to re-enter society, the pull of addiction is very strong. That means chances are the inmate – having once again turned to substance abuse – will someday return to the jail, or possibly end up in prison for more serious crimes.

However, Robin Sommer and Andrea Kline, have a different plan in mind. Both were very aware of the lack of support for inmates seeking further treatment options after their release from the jail.

Sommer is an employee of the Antrim County Prosecutor's Office who has voluntarily worked to end narcotic addiction in Antrim County after her son died of a drug overdose in 2015. Kline is a recovering meth addict who for the past six years has worked as a case management coordinator with Addiction Treatment Services in Traverse City.

"There are minimal resources in Antrim County for substance abuse and I wanted to give back and help the people in our community," said Kline, a resident of Central Lake. "As someone who has been in recovery for the past 14 years, helping others make that forward path has always been a passion of mine."

With Sommer's guidance, Kline put together a proposal for Sheriff Bean and jail supervisor Sgt. Todd Rawlings explaining the program, which has proven to be very successful in other areas of Michigan as well as other states.

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