Lakeland, FL – Over 40,000 people are addicted to drugs and alcohol in Polk County. Ten thousand people leaving the jails every year would seek treatment if it were available to them. However, when PEACE began to look at the problem, there were only 25 in-patient rehabilitation beds and all were reserved for women.
In 2009, due to pressure from PEACE, Commissioner Bob English and the County staff committed to adding 100 in-patient drug rehabilitation beds through the Hope Now program. In 2011, 50 beds were opened for men and an additional 48 beds were opened for women in 2012. In 2013, Hope Now served 750 families and had 31 graduates with a success rate of 87%. In 2010, PEACE also prevented funding for the in-jail substance abuse program (JASA) from being cut from the budget. In 2013, JASA had 336 admissions for treatment services and 151 men and women graduated the program.