By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Drug Court continues to help turn lives around
Placeholder Image

Nine people graduated last week in the most recent graduating class for the 31st Judicial District Drug Court Program.
Since becoming operational in July 2004, Drug Court, which serves Van Buren and Warren County, has had 66 individuals complete the program successfully. Drug Court boasts an 81 percent success rate for graduates, according to Drug Court director C. Brad Price.
“The main goal of the Drug Court Program is to help individuals become productive law-abiding citizens and become drug addiction free,” Price said. “The Drug Court’s objective is being accomplished by holding participants to a higher degree of accountability through intense supervision, treatment, and increased court appearances.”
Drug Court is a minimum of 18 months. There are three different phases each participant will go through, each phase lasting a minimum of six months. Participants are not allowed to move to another phase unless he or she has completed all the requirements for the previous phase. Individuals who fail to comply with Drug Court rules are given harsh sanctions that may include jail time, house arrest, or being moved back a phase.
Price says the idea behind Drug Court is to rehabilitate drug addicts instead of sending them to jail and releasing them as drug addicts.
“Individuals who have a substance abuse problem, who break the law, and are then sent to jail, 70 percent of the time will return to the community having a substance abuse addiction and will commit more crimes,” said Price.
Treating a person’s substance abuse addiction, with a higher degree of accountability, substance abuse treatment, and intense supervision, has proven to help the individual become a productive member of society, Price says.
“The individual is required to work, pay taxes, and provide for his or her family, taking the financial responsibility away from the tax payers,” Price said.
The tangible savings to the residents of Van Buren County and Warren County for having a Drug Court program are that sending a person to jail costs taxpayers approximately $35 per day. The cost per person to operate Drug Court is $4.50 per day.
The average time a person stays in Drug Court is 540 days. If you multiply the 54 Drug Court graduates, who have not re-offended since graduating by $4.50 per day, the cost is $131,220.
If Van Buren and Warren County did not have Drug Court, these individuals would have been placed in jail at a cost of 54 individuals times $35 per day in jail. At 540 days, the cost would be $1.02 million. Because of a successful Drug Court, the tangible cost savings for taxpayers has been $889,380.
Anyone wanting more information on the program may contact Price at 474-1071.