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Kenton Co. Jail Featured in KET Documentary on Opioid Epidemic

Innovative programs at the Kenton County Detention Center are highlighted in KET's Journey to Recovery documentary, which takes an in-depth look at the state's opioid epidemic. The documentary airs Monday, May 8 at 9 p.m. on KET. 

“Incarceration for way too long has just been, Let’s incarcerate the person and hope that something happens while they are in there, that they have a change of character that happens in some way because of their consequence,” said Kenton County Detention Center clinical navigator Michael Greenwell in the film. “The Jail Substance Abuse Program is really a new footprint for the Kenton County area. Its primary goal is to help the addict recover from his addiction.”

The program at the Kenton County Detention Center includes GED classes, counseling based on the 12-step method, and an innovative re-entry program that offers participants who go through detox a shot of Vivitrol, a medication that blocks the recipient’s ability to get high from opioids for 30 days. This is given as the inmates are released, to assist them as they acclimate back into society.

“In a place that is seemingly hopeless and a lot of people would say, I’m at the end of my rope, it’s a blessing to be able to offer treatment, valuable quality treatment to putting a stop to that revolving door we all hear about,” Jason Merrick, director of inmate addiction services at Kenton County Detention Center, says in the program. "You know bringing hope into a facility that is steel and concrete and letting these men and women know that they are worth it. They deserve help, they deserve treatment and care.”

-Staff report

Photo: Kenton Co. Detention Center (RCN file)