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KCSO Starts New Program to Combat Opioid Addiction

Monday, 27 February 2017

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the Knox County District Attorney General’s Office started a new program Monday afternoon to help prevent inmates from relapsing to opioid dependence during their probation.  It’s called Shot at Life and the first inmate who met the criteria was injected with Vivitrol at the Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility today.  Jason Gregory Fox has served time for theft related to his drug addiction.  As part of the pilot program, he will be injected every 28 days and undergo counseling at the Helen Ross McNabb Center.  He will be released on probation next Monday as scheduled.  Participating in this program did not shorten his sentence.  This program comes at no expense to taxpayers.  The maker of Vivitrol has given the KCSO 360 doses free—that’s enough for 30 inmates for a year.  A grant from the Trinity Foundation will pay for the counseling. 

KCSO Chief of Administration Lee Tramel said, “We know the cost of doing nothing.  These addicts steal from the people they love and prey on the community.  We know if we can stop the addiction, we can stop the crime.”  Tramel estimates that 99% of the inmates in jail are there because of drugs.  He said they will know if the program works in about a year and if it will be worth pursuing funding in the future.

This program is entirely voluntary for inmates and does not shorten their sentence.  No inmates convicted of violent crimes are eligible, only those convicted of drug related offenses.



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