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Drug court marking 10-year anniversary

Drug court marking 10-year anniversary
The 27th Judicial District Drug Court will be celebrating its 10th anniversary of operation this month with a reception in the Circuit courtroom at the Obion County Courthouse Dec. 17 from 2-4 p.m.
The drug court program was established as an adult felony post-plea treatment program with a goal of reducing the drug-related crime rate within the counties it serves.
The drug court team consists of the judges, the district attorney, the public defender,  Westate Corrections staff, a program evaluator from the University of Tennessee, representatives from local law enforcement and treatment professionals.
The first participants were admitted to the program in December 2002.
Most accepted participants are required to serve an initial period of incarceration. Upon release from jail, they receive intensive out-patient treatment by licensed professionals, intensive supervision and frequent drug screens and are required to make a weekly appearance in court. Applicants charged with a violent offense or who have a history of violence are not considered eligible for the program.
The average time required to complete the program is 22 months. The primary drug of choice among the participants is methamphetamine. Prescription drug addiction is also prevalent among those accepted to the program. The percentage of participants that successfully complete the program is 48 percent. The average recidivism rate, both nationally and locally, is 25 percent among individuals who complete drug court.
27th Judicial District Drug Court has had 277 men and women admitted to the program since it was organized. It was one of the first drug court programs to be awarded state certification in 2008. In May of this year, a graduation ceremony was held in the Obion County Circuit courtroom. Among this group of graduates was the program’s 100th graduate. 
The current capacity of the drug court program is 40 participants. The current cost to provide the program’s services is less than $10 per participant per day. The cost of incarceration for a felony inmate in the Tennessee Department of Correction is $65 per day. Funding for the 27th Judicial District Drug Court program is provided by state grants, drug court and DUI treatment reserve funds, Obion and Weakley county government, participant fees and charitable contributions.
“Each life that is changed from addiction and committing crimes to become a contributing member of society as a result of what we are doing collectively is a cause for celebration,” a spokesman said.
The public is invited to join the members of the drug court team, as well as many graduates, as they celebrate the 10th anniversary of the drug court program since its establishment in the 27th Judicial District.
Published in The Messenger 12.6.12