Kentucky Court of Justice
Letcher County Drug Court participants help provide 100 Christmas gifts for area children and food baskets for two families
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- As part of the Letcher County Drug Court annual Christmas program, Drug Court participants recently presented 100 gifts and Christmas stockings to 11 area children and two food baskets to local families. The participants purchased the gifts and food baskets with money they raised by selling baked goods and candy and soliciting monetary donations.
They decorated the stockings they filled for the children and wrapped the gifts, which included toys, books, clothes, shoes and school supplies.
The children and families received their gifts and food baskets at a Christmas dinner held Dec. 11 in the Circuit Courtroom in the Letcher County Courthouse, where Chief Circuit Judge Samuel T. Wright III conducts Drug Court proceedings. Judge Wright began the Drug Court Christmas program last year, when participants accepted donations of used items for gifts.
Of the 11 children who received gifts this year, six are those of local Drug Court participants, three are those of local Drug Court graduates and two of the children were nominated from the community by a Drug Court participant. One of the local Drug Court graduates gave birth to a drug-free baby while taking part in the Drug Court program.
“The Drug Court participants wanted to put an emphasis on helping children who had suffered because of the serious drug problems that affect our area,” Judge Wright said. “The Christmas party, the efforts of our group and the joy of the children all combined to bring forth the joy and wonder of this season.”
The recipients of the food baskets were a Drug Court graduate’s family and a family that a current Drug Court participant nominated from the community.
Letcher County Drug Court began in January 2004 and has 22 participants.
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.
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.
Note to media: Due to the confidential nature of the Drug Court treatment program, the Administrative Office of the Courts seeks written permission from Drug Court participants before allowing them to be interviewed or photographed by the media. If you are interested in interviewing or photographing a participant, please contact Jamie Ball at 800-928-2350.