Kentucky Court of Justice
Drug Court programs now operating in Allen and Simpson counties
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Individuals facing drug-related charges in Allen and Simpson counties now have access to a court program designed specifically to address drug addiction. Drug Court programs recently became operational in both counties, which comprise Kentucky’s 49th Judicial Circuit.
Allen County Drug Court accepted its first two participants in February and now has seven participants. Simpson County Drug Court accepted its first two participants in April. Both are state-funded, adult Drug Court programs. Chief Circuit Judge Janet J. Crocker, who serves Allen and Simpson counties, is volunteering her time to conduct the weekly Drug Court sessions.
Drug Court is not an easy program for participants, but the results are worth the effort, Judge Crocker said.
“Drug Court is hard to get into,” she said. “Candidates have to meet eligibility requirements, including not having any drug trafficking charges and not being a violent offender or a sex offender and being approved by the Drug Court team of law enforcement officers, court personnel and substance abuse specialists.
"But staying in Drug Court is even harder. Participants have to pass a weekly drug test, work or go to school, attend weekly substance abuse counseling and pay their court-ordered obligations. For graduates who are successful though, it’s a 12- to 18-month process with life-changing effects for the participants and their families.”
The Drug Court programs in Allen and Simpson counties are among 54 Drug Court programs in Kentucky.
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 Drug Court, visit http://courts.ky.gov/stateprograms/drugcourt/.