Cooperation Between Law Enforcement and Rehab Facility Helps Local Residents

GREENE COUNTY, AR -- As a part of our focus on Greene County, we're taking a closer look at how the judicial system works with a local rehab center to help residents batteling addiction.

The Agape House in Paragould has been helping rid women of their addictions for the past two years.

"My addiction was methamphetamine," said Tasha Owens.  "I came here from the jail and when I got to jail I didn't even have a desire to stop using."

Like most of Region 8, methamphetamine is a big problem in Greene County.  One of the biggest sources of strength is the Agape House.

"It provides a fresh start that they wouldn't get if all we did was incarcerate them and send them away for some period of time and not fix the problem, which is of course, their addiction," said Owens.

Owens was given her chance for a  fresh start at the Agape House

"I had a $100,000 bond and God just knew that I would be better here.  I would get the help I needed here that I couldn't get in jail," said Owens.

"The only contact that I ever have with the Agape House is when I make a direct referral as part of a sentencing in a misdemeanor case," said Stidham.

Ending up behind bars in Greene County is not the end goal for addicts, but getting help for them has become the goal of many law enforcement agencies.

"I'm proud to have somewhere to send these folks because they were falling through the cracks," said Stidham.

The Agape House can have up to ten girls at a time and they go through a four month faith based addiction program one that Tasha Owens has completed.

"I think when I do get ready to go home that things are going to be different because they're starting to see if I can do it and I can have a different life they can too," said Owens.

"Based on what I've been told by law enforcement and the Agape House she has made an amazing turnaround," said Stidham.

The Agape House has about a 50% success rate and a lot of that can be contributed to the teamwork in the community.

"They do a wonderful, wonderful job.  I've heard a lot of success stories.  I know from speaking to law enforcement and speaking with the folks from the Agape House that it's working," said Stidham.

"They have a choice.  God gives them a choice.  They don't have to live in the hell they've lived in all their lives," said Owens.

And what's better for one person can be better for everyone.

"The great thing about the Agape House and Greene County and Paragould and our community is that they have stepped forward and provided something that we couldn't provide with the court system," said Stidham.

To learn more about the Agape House you can contact them at 870-236-1188.