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Recovering from substance abuse while incarcerated

Posted at 10:54 PM, Jun 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-30 22:54:07-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Seeking sobriety while serving time. It's something one Southwest Florida businessman who was just found guilty of Covid-19 relief fraud is hoping to do.

At his sentencing yesterday, Casey Crowther requested the judge extend his 36-month sentence to 37 so he would have the chance to qualify for a residential drug abuse program. Seeking professional help for recovery has become more popular for inmates.

It’s a personal issue that often comes with a stigma. Substance abuse with drugs or alcohol. But what about those addicts who are serving time behind bars?

“As long as you have a heart beat, there’s hope," says Thomas Mouracade, Founder of the Kimberly Center. “Recovery is the most difficult thing that I have ever had to go through but, decades later, I can say it is so worth it.”

The Kimberly Center is a treatment facility for recovering addicts. Mouracade, a recovering addict himself, says having an addiction can often lead to a life of corruption.

“There are a number of individuals who, their only crime was that they suffered with substance abuse disorder.”

There are a few federal programs available to prisoners suffering from such an addiction. For instance, the Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP). Often times, they can help inmates seek treatment and learn to become a more productive member to society.

“There are those who have actually completed college degrees online while they are incarcerated," said Mouracade. "So, while incarceration is punitive in nature, making available education and opportunity that lessens the likelihood of that individual returning to incarceration is a good thing.”

But, as Mouracade says, the path only starts by that individual.

“It’s at that moment when someone sees their utter despair, at the same moment realizing that God’s love for them is undying and unlimited. When that happens, it’s the inflection point of life for many a person.”

You can find more information about the Kimberly Center online right here.