Breaking News: Board of CommissionersSupporting Opioid Settlement Funds To Aid Sheriff’s Office Mental Health Programs


BREAKING NEWS: Commissioners Supporting Opioid Settlement Funds to Aid in Sheriff’s Office Mental Health Programs

APRIL 27, 27

EVANSVILLE, IN – April 27, 2024 – The Vanderburgh County  Commissioners just adopted Resolution NO. CO.R-04-24-005, a resolution supporting the use of restricted funds from opioid settlements to strengthen mental health programs and services at the Vanderburgh County Jail. The resolution underscores the county’s commitment to addressing the opioid crisis and supporting mental health initiatives within the jail population.

Through outside counsel in multiple nationwide cases, Vanderburgh County has been actively engaged in litigation pursuing damages caused by opioids. The settlement from these cases, which is ongoing, must be used for treatment, education, and prevention programs for opioid use disorder and other co-occurring substance use disorders or mental health issues. The Commissioners believe allocating these restricted funds to enhance programs, services, staff, and operations at the jail will fortify efforts to combat opioid abuse and address mental health challenges.

Sheriff Noah Robinson, Chief Deputy Nathan Sugarman, and Jail Commander Dave Guetling attended the Commission meeting in a show of support for the resolution. Southwestern Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. representatives were also in attendance including Community Support Services Outpatient Clinical Manager Dan Haviza, Assertive Community Treatment Team Lead Dannielle Schoenfeld, and Community Support Services Outpatient Forensic Therapist Kelsey Hawkins.

Sheriff Robinson outlined plans to utilize opioid funds, in addition to the $1 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds previously allocated by the Commissioners, to implement a new jail mental health wing that will include ten (10) beds in the Mental Health Treatment Unit and thirty-two (32) beds in the Substance Use Disorder Unit. He further explained the Sheriff’s Office is in discussions with Southwestern Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. to utilize their services to staff the mental health wing to provide mental health and addiction-based services to inmates.

“Additionally, we plan to partner with the State of Indiana and their Integrative Recovery and Community Support Program to put peer-based, peer-support individuals inside the facility, providing the treatment and counseling to

Board of Commissioners Adopt Resolution

inmates, and hopefully fund a community-based organization to provide substance abuse counseling for inmates who are rotating out of the jail and coming back into the community, ” Sheriff Robinson stated.

Board of Commissioners Adopt Resolution

President Musgrave acknowledged the longstanding efforts of the Commissioners to address mental health and substance abuse issues within the jail system. She stated, “I’m truly excited about this. It has been our intention since we learned

Board of Commissioners Adopt Resolution

that opioid funding might come our way to create this new program at the jail. The Commissioners for several years,

Board of Commissioners Adopt Resolution

even predating some of the members who are currently on the Commission, have been working towards this happy day.”

Commissioner Elpers commended the evidence-based approach of leveraging the Innovative Recovery and Corrections Support (IRCS) program to address substance abuse within the jail population.

Commissioner Goebel thanked Sheriff Robinson for his work stating, “I think this can be a great plan for Vanderburgh County.”

The resolution was unanimously adopted by the Commissioners, signaling a unified commitment to leveraging resources effectively to address pressing community 


  1. This is a good use of funds. We must support our Police, and help make their lives better, because they sacrifice so much for us, and our community.

    The Commissioners?
    They should ask Toyota to help fund this.
    Toyata is investing more billions in Indiana, and they would understand the logic behind needing to support the community where their employees live.

    The amount Toyota invests in American production and manufacturing, and continues to invest in Indiana is stunning.

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