As previously reported, the Boone County Sheriff’s Office’s (BCSO) primary focus remains on the rehabilitation of its inmates or “clients” and reducing the recidivism rate, albeit the county jail’s current recidivism rate is at 17%—down from 44%. BSCO attributes the success of its behavioral health and rehabilitation programs, such as the Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) program and Jail Chemical Addictions Program (JCAP), to the success the department has seen throughout Sheriff Michael Nielsen’s tenure.
In this series, we have included some current and former BSCO inmates’ testimonials. In their own words, they have shared their intimate and authentic stories in hopes that the public realizes the value of BCSO’s programs as well as how far compassion and empathy go toward the effort of changing lives and even more important—saving lives.
Additionally, if someone is struggling with addiction and mental health issues, these folks hope that their stories might encourage others to make the commitment to start living a better life by reaching out and seeking help today.
Ms. Paula Adams—In Her Own Words
My name is Paula Adams. I am 35 years old. I’m praying that this letter touches the hearts of the right people so that there can be a chance for others out there like me.
I’m sure my story is similar to ones you have heard before. I grew up in a small town. I have a great family—a lot of love and support, but none of that stopped the insidious disease of addiction running complete chaos through my life.
I’ve been battling addiction for over 19 years. It started when I became pregnant at a young age. I didn’t realize I was becoming addicted until it was too late—which you never do, so don’t fool yourself! In short, I started off with pain meds which progressed to all opiates then quickly to heroin, cocaine, meth, pretty much whatever. My life spiraled out of control very quickly.
I know now that landing in the Boone County jail the day I did was a blessing.
I know now that landing here in the Boone County jail the day I did was a blessing. It definitely wasn’t my first arrest, but it was a pivotal point in my life. The day I woke up, finally the help was already there that I so desperately needed. They have so many programs. Please keep in mind I’ve had sobriety before and graduated rehab, but there was still something missing. First, there is a program called Matrix— criminal justice settings based on cognitive behavioral health and skills to change your thinking. If you keep doing what you have always done, you will keep getting what you have always got.
There is also JCAP, which helps with the trauma, life skills, addiction, grief and loss. There are two different classes. They really get to know you individually. It’s right up there with intensive inpatient. Now, recovery coaches help you to get plugged in with the world, meetings doctors, rehabs, etc. They help you to learn to talk and be an adult. Last but not least, we have a MAT program where we are put on various types of medications to best suit what we need to get all of our levels back of serotonin dopamine, endorphins. Addicts’ brains are out of balance for up to two years, sometimes more. With medication our families feel safer upon release and so do we. I really can’t believe all of these programs are right here. We have a solid foundation being built inside. I would love to see this continue to grow and be a part of it one day. No one will ever be able to guarantee me success, but I can say I’m way closer. I want to thank my heavenly father and Boone County jail.
Sincerely and respectfully,