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Greene County To Start A Drug Court
Updated September 14, 2016 7:24 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(BLOOMFIELD) - Greene County has announced plans to start a drug court.

Superior Court Judge Dena Martin and Greene County Alcohol and Drug Services Director Nicole Noel attended a 3-day training seminar in July.

Judge Martin says drug courts are fashioned to meet the needs of the community and will be very intense.

"Normally if we have a criminal case, they come in, get an attorney and go through the discovery process and are sentenced and they move on," Martin told the Greene County Daily World. "The drug court takes them and has a more hands on approach. We're going to be post-conviction. One of their requirements of probation or plea agreement is that they participate in drug court and are under the supervision of the court for up to two years.
"We would have weekly court sessions where we would have designated times that we would meet and have more involvement with them where they would see us more regularly and we could impose sanctions and rewards to try and alter their current behavior," she added.

Rehabilitating offenders will reduce cost to the county.

Information from the Bureau of Justice shows an average saving of $314 to $7,040 per participant over a two year follow-up period, studying five different drug courts. Combined totals to local agencies and the state equaled $7,183,088 in savings.

"If you just convict and don't try to change what made them do what they did, they could just do it all over again," Noel says. "The whole effort of a drug court is to reduce recidivism. You don't want your offenders coming back into the criminal population."

The drug court would be created using grant funds from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, some are underneath the Bureau of Justice and some are from the state.

Martin say the county will use resources currently available and build the program through grants.

The anticipated launch date for the drug court is the first of the year.

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