Addressing the transportation barrier: Warren Co. (IN) receives grant for transportation, substance abuse education

  • Date: 07/05/2023

As a rural area in the western part of Indiana, Warren County and its residents face transportation barriers when it comes to getting around their community.

Thanks to new funding that became available to Indiana as part of the federal American Rescue Plan Act and the National Opioid Settlement, residents linked to the county’s judicial system will get some needed transportation assistance.

The Warren Circuit Court was recently awarded a $164,978 grant from the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. The grant, according to FSSA, is designed to “provide reliable transportation to places of employment, SUD (substance use disorder) and mental health treatment, court, and other services.” It will also provide substance use and opioid education to adolescents, prescribers, service providers and stakeholders to promote prevention and harm reduction.

Warren Circuit Judge Hunter Reece said the court is excited to be able to use the funds for a justice-involved individuals “free ride” program.

Neighboring Fountain County is a small, rural county like Warren, so the county’s judges often work together on projects. Fountain Circuit Judge Stephanie Campbell said that after noticing the need for transportation, the courts looked into ways to address it. “Judge Reece and I encounter transportation barriers in nearly all of our cases,” Campbell said. “We have to take this into account in all varieties of cases when ordering defendants to participate in services. “Judge Reece had the idea to apply for a grant to develop the ride program,” she continued. “He was generous enough to include Fountain County in the grant application, as we share a great number of court participants and programs that serve both counties.”

To participate, individuals can fill out a form explaining their situation, including how they are a justice-involved individual. Then, once accepted and approved, they can begin getting rides to court hearings, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and job interviews.

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