The state Department of Corrections said Thursday it is closing the Rome Diversion Center and starting a residential substance abuse treatment program in the area to help address the state’s growing methamphetamine epidemic.  A DOC news release said the 26 employees at the Diversion Center, which will be closed effective Aug. 15, will be offered positions within the department. The cneter served as an alternative for housing proabtioners while they hold gainful employment in the community for the purpose of paying restitution, fines, fees and other court ordered monies.

The Rome center opened in 1974 under the name of the Rome Restitution Center and became known as the Rome Diversion Center in 1980.

According to a press release there has been great demand for ways to expand the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment option specifically for probationers. The department operates two such treatment programs, one in Bainbridge and one on the campus of Lee Arrendale State Prison. This new strategy will allow the department to establish the first male Residential Substance Abuse Treatment program in North Georgia, the release said.

(Rome News Tribune)