Recovery program could soon be at regional jail

FRONT ROYAL – The Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail could soon have another tool to help inmates recover from addiction.

Jail Superintendent Russ Gilkison has been in talks with The McShin Foundation, a recovery community organization that offers a  program that includes peer-to-peer recovery support services  and resources for addicts such as halfway houses, transitional recovery houses and opiate detox.

The McShin Foundation, founded in 2004, recently received a $200,000 matching grant that allows it to bring its recovery program to the regional jail, foundation president John Shinholser said. It will also be starting a program at the Riverside Regional Jail in Prince George County.

“This is recovery people who have lived that life carrying that message of hope that they (an addict) can live life,” Shinholser said.

Shinholser likened addiction to leaving a person in a hole and people with The McShin Foundation jumping into the hole with the addict.

“We are saying follow us, we are going to show you a way out,” Shinholser said.

Gilkison and his staff deal with addicts and the aftermath of their affliction every day.

“I think it is the desire of myself, the jail authority board, and the community itself to help people with their addiction,” Gilkison said.

Ultimately, the goal is to make someone with addiction a productive member of society, he added.

“Change the culture while they are in the jail and hopefully it will bleed out into the community,” Gilkison said.

He said he likes that Shinholser has visited multiple jails in multiple states.

“He knows what works,” Gilkison said. “They are multifaceted, and I think that is better than one approach.”

Shinholser said he has toured jails in 32 states.

Shinholser and Gilkison hope to hold a community launch event within the next 30 days, but a date has not yet been set.