Drug court in county continues to grow, receives funds

Posted on Monday, October 15, 2012 at 8:15 am

In July, 2012, the Drug Court Coordinating Commission awarded the 45th Judicial Circuit (Lincoln and Pike Counties) the sum of $128,750.00 for the drug court and DWI court in Lincoln County and for the drug court to be started in Pike County in January, 2013. The Circuit was awarded 72 percent more funds than the prior fiscal year. Ninety-one proposals were received totaling $14.2 million in requests with available funds limited to $6.4 million.

Drug courts in Lincoln County commenced in November 2004 with the adult drug court model. The Family Dependency Treatment Court which involves parents whose children are removed from their care due to substance abuse commenced in March 2006. A felony DWI court model was added in May 2006 and a misdemeanor DWI court model was added shortly thereafter. At the present time, all of the problem solving courts are comprised of approximately 50 participants. National research has revealed that recidivism rates of drug court graduates hover around 15 percent compared to the 50-65 percent recidivism rates of individuals who are not involved with drug court and are imprisoned or placed on a term of probation. Research at the local level has revealed very similar recidivism rates for graduates of the problem solving courts in the 45th Judicial Circuit.

All problem solving courts in the 45th Judicial Circuit are in session every Wednesday at the Lincoln County Justice Center. If anyone is interested in attending a session or wants more information about drug courts generally, please contact Judge Ben Burkemper or the Drug Court Administrator, Heather Thompson at 636-528-0329.

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