The4th meeting of the Subcommittee on Families and Children of the Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare was held on Wednesday, November 16, 2005, at 10:00 AM, in Room 129 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Tom Burch, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
LRC Staff: DeeAnn Mansfield and Cindy Smith.
The first item on the agenda was a presentation on Recovery Kentucky, by Mike Townsend and Tammy Stansbury of the Kentucky Housing Corporation. Recovery Kentucky is an initiative of Governor Fletcher to help Kentuckians recover from substance abuse that often leads to chronic homelessness. The initiative will provide ten 100 bed treatment and recovery units across the state, one facility for men, and one facility for women in each congressional district. The structures will be built by the Kentucky Housing Corporation with additional funding from the Community Development Block Grant and the Department of Corrections. The estimated cost per facility is $3.6 million. The facilities are voluntary and are of no cost to the individual asking for help. The recovery model includes the twelve steps of alcoholics anonymous and recovery dynamics. Residents may live up to 24 months in the supportive housing recovery model.
Representative Burch asked what the daily cost is, how many centers there will be and what the cost is to build them and if the money is already allocated. Mr. Townesend said that the cost is between $25 and $35 per day, but the individual pays nothing. He said there will be at least 10 centers, possibly 12 at an average cost of $3.8 million per facility, including land. He noted that the money is already allocated for the building and operation of the facilities.
Representative Jenkins asked if the facilities allow children. Mr. Townesend said they are not designated for children. Instead, caretakers are identified for the children, while the women focus on personal recovery. Within a few months, the children begin to be reunited with their parents. Classes are also offered for both the women and children.
The next item on the agenda was a presentation on the Healing Place by Jay Davidson, President and CEO of the Healing Place, and Rodney Brannon, Vice-President for Programs of the Healing Place. Mr. Davidson said the Healing Place offers 24 hour per day/7 day per week care at an average cost of $25 per day. This is significantly lower than the cost of incarceration. He said there is some community resistance because many people only focus on the negative and do not see the positive side of recovery. The center brings people together who have made a decision to be clean and gives them a model to do so. He said they offer 100 percent support to replicate the program and hope to see it replicated around the world.
Mr. Branham reported that the facilities house 300 men and 136 woman. The sites have been replicated in numerous states and they will assist each community in replicating the model. A replication team has been established and efforts have been assigned to each community. They are committed to putting other models in place.
The next item on the agenda was a presentation on Substance Abuse Treatment by Robert Walker, M.S.W., L.C.S.W, Center on Drug and Alcohol Research, University of Kentucky. Mr. Walker reported data from the Kentucky Treatment Outcome Study (KTOS), which is a state-mandated substance abuse treatment outcome study from all state funded treatment programs. Data are collected from almost 10,000 clients per year and follow-ups are done on about 10 percent of all clients. Follow-up interviews are done 12 months later. He noted that year to year data is very stable. He also noted that there are regional differences in drug use. He discussed avoided costs from substance abuse treatment in Kentucky. The cost benefit for Kentucky taxpayers is estimated at a ratio of 4.52 to 1. These avoided costs are important for policy development in Kentucky and suggest important issues for treatment planning at the state level as an investment in the health and well-being of Kentucky residents.
The next item on the agenda was a presentation on Substance Abuse Prevalence by Robert J. Illback, Psy.D., Executive Director and Licensed Psychologist, REACH of Louisville. Dr. Illback said spoke about the Strategic Prevention Framework SPF SIG, a large scale, competitive Federal grant awarded to Kentucky for 5-7 year prevention effort in targeted communities. It is based on an application of SPF which emphasizes an epidemiological, public health approach to substance abuse prevention, and is outcomes oriented. He noted that the SPF SIG goals are to (1) prevent the onset and reduce the progression of substance abuse, including childhood and underage drinking; (2) reduce substance abuse-related problems in the communities; and (3) build prevention capacity and infrastructure at the state and community levels. Dr. Illback reported statistics relative to Kentucky. He said Kentucky has the highest rate of youth smoking among the 33 states participating in YRBSS. Kentucky also has the highest rate of smoking in the nation for adults. Kentucky's rate of youth drinking is not among the highest in the nation, but is higher than most surrounding states. Kentucky, as well as neighboring states, show relatively high levels of marijuana use. Dr. Illback also reported statistics on tobacco, diverted prescriptions, methamphetamine, inhalants, and Kentucky's Substance Abuse Prevention System.
The last item on the agenda was a presentation on Graduated Driver's License by Ashley Mann, and Sarah Trainor, Kentucky Youth Advocates. Ms. Mann noted that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of teen deaths in Kentucky , accounting for 54 percent of all teen deaths in 2002. She said that graduated driver's licensing laws have been proven effective in reducing the number of teen accidents when implemented in other states. Kentucky is one of six states that do not have an intermediate license. Graduated Driver's Licensing would create a three tier system in Kentucky. It would add an intermediate stage between the instruction permit and full operator's license. The intermediate license contains three main components: (1) passenger restrictions; nighttime driving restrictions; and (3) six-month violation-free period.
Ms. Trainor reported findings of meetings with middle and high school students from across the state related to graduated driver's licensing. She said that both male and female students from all grade levels, and from different areas all supported graduated driver's licensing. The students agreed that the intermediate license would allow them to gain more experience. She also noted that students strongly supported the six month period of violation free driving.
Representative Burch asked both Ms. Mann and Ms. Trainor to appear before the committee during the legislative session to testify in support of the graduated driver's license legislation.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:07 p.m.