Kentucky Court of Justice
Judge Melcher announces Family Drug Court for Harrison, Nicholas, Pendleton and Robertson counties
FRANKFORT, Ky., Jan. 16, 2008 – Family Court Judge David E. Melcher announced a new Family Drug Court to serve adults and families in Harrison, Nicholas, Pendleton and Robertson counties at a news conference today at the Harrison County Justice Center in Cynthiana.
The new Family Drug Court will be a collaborative effort by the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the Bourbon/Harrison Board of the Kentucky Agency for Substance Abuse Policy.
“The Family Drug Court program is a very worthwhile service, and we’re fortunate to have the support of the AOC, Cabinet for Health and Family Services and Kentucky ASAP so that we are able to provide this program for our community,” said Judge Melcher, who will serve as judge for the new Family Drug Court. “It’s a great resource for our community.”
Melcher serves Harrison, Nicholas, Pendleton and Robertson counties, which comprise the 18th Judicial Circuit.
Family Drug Court is a program affiliated with Family Court and serves families in which substance abuse is a contributing factor in children being removed from the home due to abuse or neglect. Family Drug Court teams work with parents to achieve sustained abstinence from abused substances, improved housing and employment status, improved physical and mental health and, finally, permanent reunification with their children.
“Substance abuse by parents devastates the family and creates far-reaching social implications for health care systems, schools, the courts and child welfare agencies,” said Chief Justice of Kentucky Joseph E. Lambert. “Family Drug Court provides hope for this grim situation by helping parents free themselves of addiction and improve their parenting skills.”
The program promotes the safety and well-being of children by supporting the recovery of parents from alcohol and drug abuse through comprehensive treatment services and accountability to the court. Each Family Drug Court team includes a judge, county attorney, Family Drug Court program supervisor, case manager and project coordinator, CHFS representatives and local treatment providers.
The AOC, which is the administrative agent for the Kentucky Court of Justice, oversees the Family Drug Court program. In addition to having its personnel serve on the Family Drug Court teams, CHFS will provide the new Family Drug Court with many of its clients through referrals. Kentucky ASAP’s Bourbon/Harrison Board has provided treatment funding for the new program.
Commissioner Patricia R. Wilson of the CHFS Department for Community Based Services said the partnership with Family Drug Court is an important way to support parents struggling with addiction.
“Family Drug Court is proven to help families reunite sooner and stronger,” she said. “No parent facing substance abuse can do it alone, but through collaborations such as this, mothers and fathers in these four counties can realize the hope of a sober life.”
The new Family Drug Court will be the fourth such program implemented in Kentucky. Jefferson County implemented the first program in 2002. Fayette County began a Family Drug Court in 2004, and Knox/Laurel counties kicked off their program in October 2007.
The new Family Drug Court will begin its work later this month.
For more information about Family Drug Court, visit http://courts.ky.gov/stateprograms/familydrugcourt/.
As the administrative and fiscal agent for the Kentucky Court of Justice, the AOC supports the activities of approximately 4,000 court system employees, including the elected offices of justices, judges and circuit court clerks.