With recidivism rates on the rise, an Arkansas County Jail has taken an intuitive step to help inmates achieve a more successful life after incarceration by providing a peer support group dubbed the PACT (Peers Achieving Collaborative Treatment) Program. This program, launching in 2019, will provide group meetings and one-on-one sessions for inmates addicted to drugs while they are incarcerated in the Lonoke County Jail. Through a grant awarded by the State Drug Director’s office, Lonoke County will hire a Peer Recovery Support Specialist to assist inmates struggling with addiction. The peer consultant will help them prepare for job interviews, acquire food stamps and find housing, while also assisting them with essential life skills and drug rehabilitation. Not being able to acquire employment is one of the leading causes of recidivism, and as such these programs are very likely to improve these inmate’s success as they reintegrate into their community.

Jimmy McGill, who oversees the peer recovery program and works alongside the Arkansas Drug Director’s Office, has a very personal investment in the program. He is four years sober, having gotten clean while incarcerated in this same jail. McGill successfully completed the peer program and gives hope to others who are currently participating in it. John Staley, the Lonoke County Sheriff, is very confident that this program will help reduce recidivism, so long as the inmates have constant support once they are released.

TRACKTech™ not only provides continuous monitoring, but also a convenient and immediate way to deliver therapeutic and rehabilitative support, which is extremely essential for those recovering from drug addiction. Becoming a productive and successful member of society is hard enough for most people released from incarceration, but overcoming a drug addiction is an even more difficult, and potentially life threatening, obstacle. Using the peer recovery program will help these people improve their lives, inside jail and out.