Stone said that state officials have also indicated that the program will continue after the first two-year trial period.
"We've been pretty effective," he said.
Officials offer the program to 10 inmates each semester, with priority given to Class D felons, who are actually state prisoners serving out sentences that range from one to five years in the county jail.
All the participants have been convicted of drug-related offenses and are more likely to complete the program before parole due to their longer sentences, Stone said.
The program is structured similar to a regular school day with classes beginning at 7:30 a.m. and continuing in hour-long blocks.
During that time, inmates learn about addiction and criminal thinking, but also have a chance in engage in academic studies courtesy of the Winchester-Clark County Literacy Council.
Jim Porter, director of the Literacy Council, visited the men once a week for two hours, providing basic academic education along with opportunities to receive a G.E.D. and qualify for the Kentucky Employability Certificate.
Porter said six completed the basic education component, three qualified to take the G.E.D exam and eight have taken the Kentucky Employability Certification exam.
"They need to be able to provide a living for themselves," Porter said. "If they are unemployable, they are not going to have that opportunity to get a job."
Inmates without those opportunities can fall back into the cycle of incarceration, he said.
"I'm trying to provide skills and attitudes that lead to a job."
Specialists from Comprehensive Care also hold rehabilitation classes twice a week with the program.
Most of the classes are centered on group discussion, said David Howard, the program's coordinator.
"By the end of it, they all really opened up, and they shared a lot of things in there that I never would have thought people in jail would have talked about," Howard said.
He said a lot of the men had a history of abusing prescription medications and one had more than 20 alcohol intoxication charges on his record. Some have dropped out of the program for various reasons, but he said most of the men have responded well.
"They can't just walk out into the street and go back to where they were and everybody expect them to change. That's not going to happen," Howard said. "I don't know that it's the cure for everything, but I think it is better then letting them sit in the cell all day long and do nothing."
Stone said that the state Department of Corrections is developing a policy that will help inmates receive a earlier parole if they complete the treatment program. But none of the inmates this semester receive any incentives to attend.
"Most of them act real well and do real well," Stone said. "All in all, it's been real good."
â?¢ Editors note - The Sun was unable to interview any inmates due to the program's confidentiality agreements.