Scottie Childers' Law could mean jail time for drug users who violate probation

Scottie Chambers Law; the new bill that could save lives (WKEF/WRGT)

OHIO (WKEF/WRGT)-- A new bill just introduced would mean mandatory jail time or 30 days in treatment for a positive result on a drug test, for offenders on probation for a drug charge.

The bill is named for Scottie Childers, who tested positive on a drug test at a probation check in, was released, and died of an overdose four hours later.

As Ohio law is currently written, probation officers have discretion.

Scottie's mom Linda Chambers, wants to take that discretion away, saying jail time could have saved her son's life.

It was her first Christmas without her son, showing Fox 45's Kelly May in Medway, her new angel topper on her Christmas tree.

"I've never had an angel on top of the tree and my husband had this made, and it's Scottie's picture," Chambers said.

Scottie died in January 2017 from an overdose on fentanyl.

"Four hours prior to passing away he went to probation where he was on probation for heroin possession," Chamber said, "he tested dirty and [the probation officer] didn't violate his probation and she released him and four hours later he used again and his brother found him on the bathroom floor."

Chambers said she was shocked at her son's death, and the fact that he was able to walk out.

"If that’s the case and they have discretion and you can test dirty and walk out, then my thought was shut probation down, what’s it for," Chambers said.

She brought the issue to a Fox 45 town hall on heroin in July, and caught the attention of State Representative Niraj Antani, who drafted a bill to change it.

"If you are on a drug charge and you fail a drug test, you should not be allowed to go home into a drug environment, right?" Antani told Fox 45.

The law would mandate jail time or 30 days in treatment for drug offenders on probation who test positive on a drug test.

"I don't know that this would have saved his life for a day, for a week, for a month, for a year," Antani said.

"That four hours would have made a difference," Chambers said, "We would have known that he was using again, because we were blindsided."

Chambers said she will always wonder what would have happened if Scottie's probation officer hadn't let him go.

"I would never dream that he'd be gone and we'd have to try to live without him," she said crying.

The bill now goes through the Ohio House of Representatives.

Stay with Fox 45 as this story develops.

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