INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) — The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) announced Thursday the launch of a pilot program designed to engage Indiana prisoners with mental health and substance abuse disorders with certified peer professionals and wraparound services.

The program will be launched at five Indiana county jails: Blackford, Daviess, Dearborn, Delaware and Scott counties.

These new services will be provided by the Integrated Reentry and Correctional Support Program (IRACS), which uses a new support model to show how individuals with mental health and substance abuse disorders encounter and move through the criminal justice system, aiming to divert them away from the justice system into treatment.

“I want to thank the state of Indiana, local government and health officials, and all the volunteers who have made the IRACS program possible in Delaware County,” said Delaware County Sheriff Tony Skinner. “We have been hit especially hard with substance abuse and untreated mental illness for the past several years, and this program is exactly what our community needs to help us stem the tide and begin recovering.

Each of the five pilot sites received a $500,000 grant in order to build the necessary teams and infrastructure to support the new program.

Once the pilot program is over, data from the program will be gathered the program will be expanded within the next three years if proven successful.

“Regardless of how an individual ended up in the justice system, how they move forward matters,” said Douglas Huntsinger, executive director for drug prevention, treatment and enforcement for Indiana. “By providing access to peers and wraparound services while individuals are incarcerated, we intend to reduce recidivism and future involvement in the justice system.”