Pike Co. jail rehab program could be expanding

By: Whitney Burks Email
By: Whitney Burks Email

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Pike County officials will soon pack up and move out of the old courthouse and into a new one leaving two floors above the jail empty, and officials have high hopes for turning those empty floors into a drug rehab center for inmates.

Paul Shelton is serving a five year sentence for drug charges.

"Mind body and soul. I mean I've lost everything," he said.

But he says being at the Pike County Jail has actually been beneficial to him because of a rehab program run by WestCare inside the jail.

"I've been mad at the world my whole life, and it makes you really sit down and look at your life and what you've done," he said.

Now Pike County officials are hoping they can help more people like Shelton. By June they hope to have the top two floors of the old courthouse above the jail moved into the new courthouse, freeing up space that could be used to expand the rehab program by 120 beds.

"The inmate wins because they get their treatment, and then the whole community wins when they're released because they're drug free," said Pike County Jailer Rodney Scott.

Jail officials say the drug rehab program is already incredibly successful, and they hope expanding it might help save even more lives.

"We have inmates come back all the time and tell us you know this program saved my life," said Scott.

Shelton admits he is one of those inmates, and credits the program for giving him potential to go on.

"If it hadn't been for this program I'd be dead somewhere. No doubt in my mind," he said.

The WestCare rehab program currently has more than 80 clients. Officials hope to more than double that number with the proposed expansion.

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