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News Release

Adult Drug Court
Date: May 5, 2011

For more information contact
Kim Etherton, Director, Community Corrections 402-441-3600

Lancaster County Adult Drug Court Celebrates 10th Year Of Operation
And National Drug Court Month

Lancaster County Adult Drug Court announces it has completed 10 years of operation. The Adult Drug Court was implemented in June, 2001 to divert non-violent, substance-abusing felony offenders into a comprehensive, judicially supervised program of treatment, frequent and observed drug testing and intensive supervision. As of April 1, 2011, the Adult Drug Court has screened 1103 possible participants, accepted 511, and graduated 192 participants.

The Lancaster County Adult Drug Court team includes District Court Judges Karen B. Flowers and Paul D. Merritt, Jr., and representatives from the Lancaster County Attorney's Office, Lancaster County Public Defender's Office, St. Monica's Behavioral Health Services for Women, local treatment providers and Drug Court Staff. The Lancaster County Community Corrections Department provides administration of the program.

Like the other 2,500 operational drug courts in the United States, the Lancaster County Adult Drug Court is a judicially-supervised court docket that reduces correctional costs and protects community safety. While in Drug Court individuals remain in treatment for long periods of time under close supervision. Drug Court participants must meet many obligations, and to ensure accountability they are regularly and randomly tested for drug use, required to appear frequently in court for the judge to review their progress, are rewarded for doing well and sanctioned when not living up to their obligations.

Drug courts are the nation's most effective strategy in reducing recidivism among seriously drug addicted, nonviolent offenders with long criminal histories. Drug courts save up to $13,000 for every individual they serve.

In addition to celebrating 10 years of operation, the Lancaster County Adult Drug Court joins drug courts across the country in recognizing the month of May as National Drug Court Month. Wes Huddleston, CEO or the National Association of Drug Court Professionals states, "Drug courts are a proven budget solution and must be expanded." What started in a Florida courtroom over 20 years ago has become the nation's most successful strategy for dealing with substance abusing offenders.

Further information regarding the May, 2011 Lancaster County Adult Drug Court Graduation Ceremony, which will see the 200th graduate and mark the 10 year anniversary of this Drug Court will be available soon. For further information regarding this event, contact Jared Gavin, Drug Court Coordinator, 402-441-8122.

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