LAWRENCE, Kan. – A new diversion program in Douglas County aims to give repeat female offenders dealing with addiction a chance to get back on the right path.
Through inpatient and outpatient treatment, the women are teamed up with services around the area to help them get back on their feet.
Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson says that by looking at the jail population, officials saw an increase in women battling with addiction.
“They're out committing crimes to support their habits and it's just kind of a revolving door back in the jail before having their prior case completed,” Branson said.
Branson says the number of repeat female offenders in Douglas County run between the high 40s and 50s.
“Depending on where you're from, it may not seem a lot, but it's a lot for our population,” Branson said. “Out of that we see anywhere between 10-12 females a year that just repeat constantly.”
The program is supported by the Douglas County Commission and will treat eight to 12 women in the first year.
Court costs and charges could be written off for women who successfully complete the program.
“We have to be problem solvers, not just case processors and this is a step toward that,” Branson said. “We have to get to the underlying problem, not just react when a crime is committed.”
For more information, visit the Douglas County District Attorney's website.