Kent Co. jail ‘changing course’ to address opioid crisis


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — In case your solely contact with the Kent County jail is a passing look from the freeway, you in all probability don’t assume a lot about what goes on inside.

“I by no means actually gave it a lot thought,” stated Wendy Bubin, a Rockford mother whose son died of a heroin overdose final yr. “Till it affected me.”

Bubin by no means imagined it might.

Even after the primary trace of hassle when her son, Bobby Bubin, was caught with marijuana at Rockford Excessive Faculty his sophomore yr, she by no means would have believed that her firstborn would spend a few of his ultimate days in jail, serving time for heroin possession.

Rising up in an higher-class, lakefront group outdoors Rockford, Bobby Bubin was a superb athlete and scholar, a free spirit who liked to play pranks on the little sister he adored.

“He had a sort coronary heart,” Wendy Bubin stated by way of tears. “He beloved his sister and his brother. He beloved his household. He liked sports activities. By some means that simply acquired misplaced.”

Bobby Bubin was 27 years previous when he walked out of the Kent County jail on Dec. 14, 2016. Ten days later, on Christmas Eve, heroin killed him.

“He’d been sober for 5 months,” Wendy Bubin stated. “Once they come out (of jail), their tolerance is so low, and if he tried to do what he was used to, it was sufficient to kill him.”

Jail official: “Elevated danger of dying” after launch

It’s a phenomenon Kent County jail authorities are analyzing intently, on the lookout for methods they may also help individuals safely transition again into society.

“It’s a studying course of,” Chuck Dewitt, who oversees the Kent County Correctional Facility, stated. “We try to wrap our heads round this epidemic and see how it’s that the jail matches into the remedy aspect of issues.”

“The worry is when anybody cleanses their physique, if you’ll, of the medicine, in the event that they return to their unique dose, then there’s all the time going to be that risk that what they thought they might deal with has now modified they usually can not take that dose,” he continued. “Now there’s that elevated danger of demise.”

The jail is already utilizing drugs brief-time period to ease illness from withdrawal.

In 2016, the jail flagged three,208 inmate bookings as probably involving withdrawal from medicine or alcohol. That’s thirteen.2 % of the full reserving for the yr.

The identical yr, Bobby Bubin was one in every of 5 inmates who died from an opioid overdose inside two weeks of their launch.

In 2015, there have been 4…



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