Wood Co. Jail launches new program to help inmates recover from addiction

Wood Co. Jail launches new program to help inmates recover from addiction

WOOD COUNTY (WAOW) — The Wood County Jail has started a new program hoping those who come through their doors for drug and alcohol charges don’t return after they are released.

The SMART (Self-Management and Recovery Training) Recovery Program just started a few weeks ago, but inmates tell News 9 it is already making a difference.

Even though the inmates in the recovery block are there for different reasons, they each have one goal: get out and do better.

“Moving to Wisconsin, I found myself out of work and really struggled to find work and alcohol really progressed to a severe state,” said Caleb Goetzen, a 32-year-old inmate.

Goetzen has been in and out of Wood County Jail for a few years due to alcohol abuse.

“Instead of complying with officers, I started drinking alcohol, which led to my arrest,” Goetzen said.

Goetzen said he hopes with the help of SMART recovery, this will be his last time returning.

“Addictions are very serious and I don’t think any of us wanted to be a drug addict or alcoholic. I think this is something I will struggle with for the rest of my life, but I hope I will be able to overcome it,” he said.

The recovery program works with Three Bridges Recovery and gives inmates homework every night through their custom workbook.

“These people are on their last string of hope; some of them even don’t have hope, so we are there to guide them,” said Aleisha Douglas, a recovery coach.

“If I have a physical craving then hard candy helps subdue the trigger, so this is helping me identify those steps,” Goetzen said.

Lt. Susanna Pearson of the Wood County Jail said she doesn’t want to see these inmates come back through a revolving door because of drugs.

“We are looking at their behavior, at the thought process and changing their thought process so they don’t turn to drugs,” Lt. Pearson said.

The inmates in the program live together in the same cell block so they are surrounded with those who have the same goals.

The SMART recovery program is a 24-week program for inmates. Upon completion, they are released and work closely with Three Bridges to make sure they are staying on track.

Lt. Pearson said they will implement yoga to the program next month.

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