An online news website reports Oxford House is operating a string of homes for recovering addicts in Mississippi with government funding yet receives little, if any supervision from the Mississippi Department of Mental Health. Watchdog.org even reports that Oxford House is attempting to recruit "clients" from jails for their homes that are located in residential neighborhoods. Steve Wilson writes:
A group of taxpayer-funded halfway houses in Mississippi for recovering addicts — including many ex-convicts — receives minimal supervision from the state agency responsible for them.
With Oxford House International admitting that 76 percent of residents have served prison time and 16.7 percent of their residents have relapsed, one would think the Mississippi Department of Mental Health would provide rigorous supervision for the homes and the outreach coordinators who fill vacancies for them.
But detailed oversight isn’t part of the bargain, according to the monthly reports filed with the MDMH by Oxford House employees paid from a grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The reports are repetitive and lacking the most important details, with cheerleading praise such as “residents are stepping up and holding each other accountable,” without any documentation.
State Sen. Will Longwitz, R-Madison, told Mississippi Watchdog he’s concerned with the perceived lack of oversight by MDMH.
“The state department of mental health chose Oxford House to spend this federal grant money in Mississippi,” Longwitz said. “That gives me and anybody else in this state the right to ask these kinds of questions. The one thing that is a real concern is the recruitment by paid recruiters — paid with federal grant money — from jails. They’re proud of it.”
In the chain of monthly reports dating from August 2014 to March 2015, not once is there a mention of recovery, attendance of members at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or any inspections for property damage or cleanliness.
The outreach coordinators mentioned 26 times that Oxford House residents “are working hard to try to get into local jails” to recruit new residents. Rest of article.