Friday, June 5, 2009

The Drug Court's A Coming

Even though Bell County Commissioners didn't want it they created a drug court for Bell County. If the County didn't create the Drug Court, they risked losing state funds for probation.
The judge said county officials had conferred with the office of Gov. Rick Perry on whether or not the county needed the court, since the state only funds about 40 percent of the cost.

The answer was - the new court or lose state adult probation department funding.

The new court results from a 2007 Texas Legislature measure passed that requires counties with over 200,000 population to establish drug courts.

Bell County officials have expressed their beliefs that the county does not need such a court and its creation is a very unwise use of taxpayers money. In a sharp tone Judge Burrows pointed out that in Bexar County, with a population of 1.6 million, the program had 11 graduates. This is about $60,000 per graduate.

He used the figures to show what could happen in Bell County.

Monday’s vote clears the way for creation of the mandated court. Source: Belton Journal

When properly used, drug courts can be a better way to handle minor drug offenses. Not every addiction should be criminalized and lack of substance abuse treatment in jail is only likely to lead to more drug offenses.

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