LAWRENCEBURG, Ind., DECEMBER 12, 2023 – The Dearborn Community Foundation (DCF), Inc. recently awarded a $1,000 proactive grant to Choices Coordinated Care Solutions IRACS (Integrated Reentry and Correctional Support Team) for educational resources and journals within the Dearborn County Law Enforcement Center. The program, through collaboration with the Dearborn County sheriff, provides peer-to-peer support and treatment guidance for inmates suffering from addiction and substance abuse disorders.

DCF Board member Mike Hollenbeck, right, presents a $1,000 proactive grant to Aaron Spaulding, Choices Coordinated Care Solutions IRACS Manager for Dearborn County.

In its 25th year of helping donors make a difference, DCF is awarding 15 proactive grants of $1,000 each throughout 2023 to charitable organizations that serve Dearborn County residents. Each of the Foundation’s 15 volunteer Board members is recommending a grant. The money comes from the Foundation’s Unrestricted Endowment Funds, established by donors to provide flexibility to address changing needs in the community over the years. 

DCF Board member and local attorney Mike Hollenbeck recommended the grant to Choices Coordinated Care Solutions.

“Since it began last year, hundreds of local inmates have been served through this program, with many put on a path toward long-term recovery, and an end to the cycle of relapse and re-offending that can keep offenders mired in the criminal justice system,” said Hollenbeck. “The long-term implications of this program include a reduction in drug-related crime, a reduction in the jail population, and a healthier community.”

In 2022, IRACS, in collaboration with Dearborn County Sheriff Shane McHenry, brought a “forensic peer team” into the Dearborn County Jail to provide peer-to-peer support and treatment guidance for inmates suffering from addiction and substance abuse disorders. IRACS is a collaboration between the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction, the Indiana Recovery Network, and programs of Mental Health America of Indiana.

The Peer Team consists of individuals from the area who are in long-term recovery, and who have gone through specialized training to channel education, and resource coordination to chemically-dependent inmates, said Hollenbeck. The Team works within the jail and with the 1Voice regional recovery hub in Aurora to secure substance abuse treatment and follow-up services for inmates, and inmates being released from incarceration. Assistance often qualifies participants for insurance coverage, assists in substance abuse treatment programs, and can provide housing help to those without resources.  

“The Team also sponsors programs within the jail to provide education and encouragement for inmates, many of whom are taking their first steps toward substance abuse recovery. Their work is both life-changing, and lifesaving,” said Hollenbeck. The initiative has been supported by McHenry’s forward-thinking and the “visionary attitude” of Dearborn County’s judges and prosecutor in supporting innovative solutions to the substance abuse epidemic in society, he added. 

To support the effort, contact Dearborn County IRACS Program Manager Aaron Spaulding at 317-526-8836; or [email protected].

Anyone can contribute to an unrestricted endowment at DCF and help make impact grants like the 15 DCF Board members are recommending in 2023. For a list of the unrestricted endowments and to learn more about the Foundation, call 812-539-4115 or visit the Foundation website at dearborncf.org. If you are interested in contributing to DCF, visit our website’s “Give Now” page to donate online and to learn about other giving options.