Kentucky Court of Justice
New Drug Court now operating in Green, Marion, Taylor and Washington counties
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Individuals facing drug-related charges in Green, Marion, Taylor and Washington counties now have access to a court designed specifically to address drug addiction.
A new Drug Court to serve adults in the four-county area began in mid-January with two participants. By the end of this week, the court expects to have 10 men and women in the program. The participants range in age from 19 to 43 years.
The state-funded Drug Court program will operate at the Circuit Court and District Court levels. Chief Circuit Judge Doughlas M. George will volunteer his time to conduct the biweekly Drug Court sessions for cases that originate in Circuit Court, while District Court Judge Amy S. Anderson will serve as Drug Court judge for cases that begin in District Court.
Judge George and Judge Anderson serve Green, Marion, Taylor and Washington counties, which comprise Kentucky’s 11th Judicial Circuit and 11th District.
“We do have a severe drug problem in our area of the state, just as other parts of the state do,” Judge George said. “I’m hopeful that Drug Court will be a success and help some people change their lives. Drug Court provides treatment as an alternative to incarceration, so it will also help in reducing the spiraling jail costs that the state and counties are facing.”
The new 11th Circuit/District Drug Court is one of 51 Drug Court programs operating in Kentucky. Several more programs are scheduled to be implemented by March.
“We really appreciate the opportunity Judge George is giving us to team with him,” Judge Anderson said. “This is a chance for us to look for ways to help the people we see here in court every day who are drug-driven to commit crimes.”
For more information about the Drug Court for Green, Marion, Taylor and Washington counties, contact program supervisor Jennifer Caulk or recovery coordinator Brian Blakeman at 270-699-2847.
Kentucky Drug Court
Drug Court is proving to be a positive solution to a serious social problem. The success of Drug Court can be measured in the number of lives changed and the cost savings to Kentucky taxpayers. The program has had a significant impact on reducing rearrest, reconviction and reincarceration rates. The program has resulted in increased payment of delinquent child support and improved employment rates. For every $1 spent on Drug Court graduates, the state saves $2.72 on what it would have spent on incarcerating these individuals.
The mission is to provide a court-supervised treatment alternative that stops illicit drug use and related criminal activity and promotes a positive life change through substance abuse education and treatment.
How Drug Court Works
Drug Court coordinates the efforts of the judiciary, prosecution, defense bar, probation, law enforcement, mental health, social services and treatment communities to actively intervene and break the cycle of substance abuse, addiction and crime.
The program consists of three phases and aftercare and lasts at least 18 months for felony participants. Drug Court staff and participants work together to develop individual program plans with specific responsibilities and goals with timetables. Plans include group, family and individual counseling; frequent and random urine testing; education and vocational training; scheduled payments of restitution, child support and court fees; and health and community activities. Participants report directly to their Drug Court judge, who rewards progress and sanctions noncompliance.
When participants successfully complete the program, charges may be dismissed through diversion, or conditional discharge may be granted through probation. Judges who participate in Drug Court volunteer their time to the program, and much of the program’s funding comes from federal grants and state matching funds approved through the Kentucky General Assembly.
Kentucky Drug Court is administered through the Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort. The AOC is the operational arm of the Kentucky Court of Justice and supports the activities of more than 4,000 court system employees, including the elected offices of justices, judges and circuit court clerks.
For more information about Kentucky Drug Court, visit http://courts.ky.gov/stateprograms/drugcourt/.