Judge Vicki Carmichael

A family drug court in southern Indiana has received a $2.1 million federal grant to expand its services, which could help reunite an estimated 175 families over the next five years.

Judge Vicki Carmichael has run the Clark County Family Treatment Drug Court for seven years with only one county-paid employee, but the new five-year grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will allow the court to hire two more caseworkers.

According to a news release from Judge Carmichael, the Bridge to Success Project within the court will provide substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation services to parents whose children have been removed or are at risk of being removed because of their issues with drug abuse, with the ultimate goal of “reuniting them as stable, drug-free families.”

Participants in the program have weekly courtroom updates with the judge, along with a wide range of treatment and counseling services.

“This is one way that we can help break the cycle of addiction and broken families; and the grant means we can do it at little or no cost to Clark County taxpayers,” stated Carmichael.

“This holistic approach increases the likelihood that drug offenders will transform as contributing members of society and positive models for their children for overcoming problems.”

Many services offered to the drug court participants are provided in Louisville, according to the news release, with the city’s health department serving as a partner.

“Substance use disorder knows no geographic boundaries, and we are happy to partner with our friends across the river to help address this crisis,” stated Dr. Sarah Moyer, the director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness.

Joe Sonka is a staff writer at Insider Louisville focusing on government, politics, education and public safety. He is a former news editor and staff writer at LEO Weekly and has also freelanced for The Nation and ThinkProgress. He has won first place awards from the Louisville Metro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in the categories of Health Reporting, Enterprise Reporting, Government/Politics, Minority/Women’s Affairs Reporting, Continuing Coverage and Best Blog. Email him at [email protected]


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