SOUTH BEND — A woman who violated her drug treatment plan will be in prison for about 1.5 years.
Samantha Vineyard Howard, 26, received 16 months in prison after violating her court-appointed drug treatment plan.
In May 2018, Vineyard Howard plead guilty to third-degree assault, driving under the influence, bail jumping, and possession of a controlled substance. She was admitted to a drug treatment alternative managed by the Department of Corrections.
In January 2019, Vineyard Howard relapsed when she used methamphetamine. Pacific County Prosecutor Mark McClain suggested she receive a prison sentence and continue treatment in prison.
Instead, Vineyard Howard was allowed to stay in the program after a trial court program. She relapsed again after the decision. She also gave birth to a child who tested positive for methamphetamine.
After the second relapse, McClain tried again to get Vineyard Howard a prison sentence. She asked a judge to let her stay in the program.
"We believe in treatment, but not at the expense of community safety," said Mark McClain, Pacific County Prosecutor. "In her case, it was obvious she needed to be sent to prison and have treatment delivered in confinement."
Vineyard Howard said visits with her children is what caused her to miss treatment.
"Excuses like that demonstrated clearly that she was not making sobriety her priority," McClain said. "That showed us that she was not a proper candidate for this program."
She will continue treatment while in prison, then remain on probation after her prison term.