Local News

State Budget Cuts Force Shutdown of Durham Substance Abuse Program

Posted February 28, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST

— State budget cuts are bringing an end to a program designed to help inmates get clean and sober.

The Substance Treatment and Recitivism Reduction (STARR) program has served as a national model for other prison substance abuse programs, but funding for the program has been dwindling over the last few months.

The state's budget cuts mean the STARR program ends Friday, leaving inmates with nowhere else to turn.

"I am so glad to be in recovery. It feels so good. The STARR program has really brought me out of bondage," says recovering addict Gwendolyn Suitt.

Nearly 60 percent of the prison population are addicts. Over the last ten years, 2,700 inmates have successfully completed the program.