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Seventeen men were the first to graduate from Hall County’s Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) program Wednesday evening, making history for Hall County and marking a major milestone in their individual roads to recovery.
The RSAT program provides participants in the County’s Re-entry Accountability Court Transition (REACT) Program with intensive substance abuse treatment.
“Because of the universal history of serious substance abuse we have encountered with the REACT participants, this has become an important part of the REACT program as it addresses this significant issue in a treatment format which has proven to be effective,” said Hall County C.I. Warden Walt Davis.
The RSAT program was funded through a $50,000 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant awarded late last year.
"We have found that, without exception, all of the participants in the REACT program have serious addiction issues which must be addressed if they are to be successfully returned to our community," Davis said. "This intensive program is a significant step in that direction."
He said the program has been used effectively in the state prison system for several years, however, Hall County is the first county correctional institution in the state to offer the treatment.
The RSAT program is a part of the larger REACT program, which focuses on state inmates returning to Hall and Dawson counties. In addition to substance abuse treatment, programming consists of educational and vocational training. Participants also receive on-the-job experience while working with local businesses once they have progressed to the work release portion of the program. The purpose of the program is to help inmates find gainful employment in an effort to reduce recidivism rates.
Hall County Chief Superior Court Judge C. Andrew Fuller served as the keynote speaker during Wednesday’s graduation ceremony.