FORT DIX - The former Mid-State prison located at Fort Dix will soon become a drug treatment center for inmates, under a new plan by Gov. Chris Christie.
The treatment center will be the first of its kind. It will be a medium-security facility that will take in inmates struggling with addiction from across the state.
According to the Department of Corrections, New Jersey’s prison population dropped by 26 percent in the past 15 years. It is what made the closure of Mid-State possible.
Substance Abuse counselors at New Horizon Treatment Services in Trenton say that the new treatment center will be beneficial to the inmates, as well as the state.
“When they’re in prison there isn’t a lot of treatment,” says New Horizon’s Kathleen Lee. “They come out and they still have problems, sometimes starting off worse than they were because they lack that family support they had previously.”
The counselors say that addicted inmates can still get drugs while inside prison and that addiction often creates repeat offenders.
They hope that the new treatment center can break that cycle.
“You are building a person to have a wholesome life,” says counselor Terry Simons-Hart. “They’re getting back connected with their families, their children, and being more productive citizens."
The former Mid-State prison is currently undergoing renovations. The treatment center is expected to open early next year.
Gov. Christie announced the plan during his State of the State address.