Kentucky Court of Justice
Drug Court programs in Christian, Floyd and Perry counties awarded $300,000 federal grants for treatment
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Drug Court programs in Christian, Floyd and Perry counties have been awarded $300,000 federal grants to expand drug treatment for participants. The programs could each receive up to $300,000 a year for a total of three years, depending on the results of the first $300,000 allocation and the availability of federal funds.
“As a leader in the drug court movement, Kentucky Drug Court is always appreciative and in need of funds for enhanced treatment,” said Connie Payne, executive officer of Kentucky Drug Court, which is administered by the Administrative Office of the Courts.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration awarded the grants in September. The grants were among $17.4 million in grants that the agency provided to 20 drug court programs in the nation.
The programs in Christian, Floyd and Perry counties are partnering with comprehensive care facilities to carry out the treatment initiative. The grants will enable the Drug Court programs to effectively implement the Assertive Community Treatment Model. In this model, services are extended to the most difficult to treat and isolated addicts in the community. The model provides for increased case management, peer recovery specialists, clinicians and job coaches and targets Drug Court participants with the most limited resources.
Adding these enhanced services to the existing array of substance abuse education and treatment services allows the Drug Court programs to reach beyond traditional treatment methods and focus on life skills that participants need for long-term, successful recovery, Payne said.
The Christian County Drug Court program was implemented in January 2001 and has 102 graduates. Floyd County Drug Court began in March 2004 and has 30 graduates. The Perry County Drug Court program was implemented in March 2005 and has 26 graduates.
Seeking the grants for Christian, Floyd and Perry counties was a collaborative effort between comprehensive care centers, the University of Kentucky Center on Drug and Alcohol Research, the UK College of Social Work and Kentucky Drug Court.
A 2004 outcome evaluation of Kentucky Drug Court indicated that Drug Court graduates have a 20.2 percent recidivism rate two years after graduation. Offenders who receive probation after committing crimes similar to those of individuals who enter Drug Court have a recidivism rate of 57 percent two years after completing probation. The UK Center on Drug and Alcohol Research conducted the outcome evaluation.
More than 2,100 drug courts are working across the country to help people with substance abuse problems break free from destructive lifestyles and lead productive lives, SAMHSA Acting Administrator Eric Broderick said.
“These new grants will expand the successes of treatment drug courts in communities,” he said.
In addition to Kentucky, grants were awarded to programs in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Of the 20 grant awardees, 10 programs received $300,000. The other awardees received between $220,343 and $299,771.
The grants will be used to expand and/or enhance substance abuse treatment services through courts that use the treatment drug court model to provide alcohol and drug treatment, recovery support services that support substance abuse treatment, screening, assessment, case management, and program coordination for adult defendants/offenders, according to SAMHSA.
SAMHSA is a public health agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The agency is responsible for improving the accountability, capacity and effectiveness of the nation’s substance abuse prevention, addictions treatment and mental health services delivery systems.
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 that last at least one year and are followed by aftercare. 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 state funds approved through the Kentucky General Assembly.
The Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort 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.