Kentucky Court of Justice
Greenup/Lewis County Drug Court program selected as national mentor court
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Greenup/Lewis County Drug Court program has been selected by the National Drug Court Institute to serve as a test site for best practices in treating adult substance-abusing offenders. The program is one of only 10 chosen from 52 applicants nationwide to be a Mentor Adult Drug Treatment Court.
NDCI Executive Director Carolyn Hardin will recognize the Greenup/Lewis County Drug Court program’s selection as a mentor court with a plaque presentation Thursday, July 29, at the Greenup County Courthouse. The event will take place at 11:30 a.m. EDT and will be open to the public. The courthouse is located at 301 Main St. in Greenup.
“Our Drug Court team is honored to have been chosen for this opportunity,” said Julie Ilhardt, supervisor and recovery coordinator for the Greenup/Lewis County Drug Court program. “We look forward to sharing the knowledge that we have gained with other drug courts. Our start-up team for the Greenup/Lewis County Drug Court program was able to visit several drug courts around the country and benefit from learning what worked for them. I hope we can do the same for other new programs.”
Circuit Court Judge Robert Conley serves as the judge for the Greenup/Lewis County Drug Court program.
The 10 mentor courts will serve for three years. They were selected based on a review of their application and a site visit. The courts will help develop, identify and test national best practices for adult drug treatment courts. The NDCI will work with expert researchers to develop practices and systems for implementation in the courts. The mentor courts will also provide technical assistance to programs interested in starting an adult drug treatment court. This will include answering questions, providing advice and, in some instances, hosting visitors such as court teams participating in training.
“We’re proud that the Greenup/Lewis County Drug Court program can have a positive impact on drug courts nationwide,” said Connie Payne, executive officer of Kentucky Drug Court. “This program has earned overwhelming support in the communities it serves. The local Drug Court team is highly involved with the program and is dedicated to the success of each participant. The program will be a great asset as a national mentor court.”
The NDCI is a branch of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals and is the preeminent source for training and technical assistance to the drug court field. The NDCI highlights exemplary drug court programs to serve as training sites for the drug court and broader justice field and public.
Kentucky Drug Court
Drug Court is a positive solution to a serious social problem. The program has reduced rearrest, reconviction and reincarceration rates, 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 program provides a court-supervised treatment alternative that stops drug abuse and related criminal activity through substance abuse education and treatment. Drug Court coordinates the efforts of the judiciary, prosecution, defense bar, probation, law enforcement, mental health, social services and treatment communities to break the cycle of substance abuse, addiction and crime.
The program consists of three phases that last a total of at least one year and are followed by aftercare. Drug Court staff and participants 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. Most of the program’s funding comes from state funds approved through the Kentucky General Assembly.
Drug Court programs statewide are administered through the Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort. Kentucky Drug Court oversees 55 adult Drug Court programs that serve 115 counties. For more information about Drug Court, visit http://courts.ky.gov/stateprograms/Drug+Court/.
The AOC is the operations arm of the Kentucky Court of Justice and supports the activities of approximately 3,400 court system employees and 403 elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks. As the fiscal agent for the state court system, the AOC prepares a biennial budget draft and executes the Judicial Branch budget.