Cook County sheriff creates program to fight opioid crisis

CHICAGO (AP) — Sheriff Tom Dart says opioid overdoses are killing more people than gun violence in Cook County, prompting the creation of a program to help jail inmates deal with the issue.

Dart on Wednesday announced the creation of the Sheriff’s Opioid Addiction Recovery Program.

Dart says during the two weeks when a person is released from custody, the chances of them dying from an overdose is astronomical. To reduce those odds, Dart says inmates will be enrolled in a substance abuse program at the jail. He says upon release the inmates will be assigned to a case worker for at least three months.

That is expected to help people like Rodney Cal, who says he has been in and out of the Cook County Jail for drug charges since the 1980’s. Cal says he hopes the program will end his drug-to-jail cycle for good.