COLUMBUS, Ind. — Part of a southern Indiana jail could be converted into a drug treatment center for inmates.

An anti-drug abuse task force in Bartholomew County is working on recommendations that include providing more treatment for opioid addiction in what is now an unused part of the county jail.

The (Columbus) Republic reports task force director Jeff Jones says its top initiative will be treating inmates who are suffering from addiction. Sheriff Matt Myers is backing the recommendation.

Jones says he hopes to have the treatment center open no later than 2019.

The Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress in Bartholomew County estimates more than 1,000 county residents have an addiction problem, with about 70 percent of them facing some form of incarceration.