FRANKLIN, Ind. — Just a year ago, when it came time to hand down a sentence for Level 6 felonies in Indiana, judges had little say on where those sentences were served.

Now, a law that went into effect last July gives courts a tool aimed at helping provide more mental health and addiction treatment services by allowing them flexibility in sending people to serve their sentence at the state’s Department of Correction.

That law, paired with existing problem-solving courts, are making a big impact in curbing addiction in Johnson County.

“No question about it, it’s making a huge difference in these people’s lives,” said  Johnson Superior Court Judge Peter Nugent.

Inside the Johnson County Courthouse Wednesday afternoon, problem-solving court is in session. It’s an intensive program with two years of work for those who take it on.

For those who have completed the Recovery While Incarcerated program while inside the DOC, according to Nugent, a program like problem-solving court is an important step in achieving and maintaining sobriety.