In celebration of National Drug Court Month, the Cleburne County Drug Court Program held a Drug Court Month Proclamation Signing by County Judge Jerry Holmes along with Honorable Judge Tim Weaver.

This is the court’s 45th  ceremony since its founding in 2005. Two women were

among this year’s graduates. The ceremony marks their completion of an intensive program of

comprehensive substance use disorder treatment, close supervision and accountability. Treatment

courts are this nation’s most effective strategy to reduce drug use and recidivism among substance addicted, nonviolent offenders with criminal histories. Nationally, these courts save up to $13,000

for every individual they serve and return as much as $27 for every $1 invested.

One of the graduates, Kristina French had this to say, “I have so much to be grateful for in my life with the help of the Drug Court program & I am going to be continuing to do all the things I learned in the program.”

Judge Jerry Holmes said, “I am so proud that there is an option with Drug Court to give these individuals the opportunity to get their lives back in order. I wish this program would have been in effect when I was Sheriff.”

According to Toni Baker, Cleburne County Drug Court Counselor, there are currently 30 participants  enrolled in the Cleburne County Drug Court program. Over its history, 135 participants have enrolled in the program, with 65+  participants having successfully completing the terms of their enrollment. Not inclusive of current enrollment, this comprises a graduation rate of 55+%.  Cleburne County has continued to focus on improving its Drug Court program, where research has continuously indicated that

drug courts return net dollar savings back to their communities. At least one study has concluded

that drug courts product an average of $2.21 in direct benefits to the criminal justice system for

every $1.00 invested. When focus is directed on more high risk, high needs offenders—as

proposed herein—the savings can jump to $3.36 for every $1.00 invested. When the view is

expanded to take into account the savings enjoyed as the effects of drug courts radiate outward—

towards things such as foster care placements for displaced children, healthcare services, and

general economic benefits—savings can total up to $27.00 for every $1.00 invested

Cleburne County also runs a Juvenile Drug Court program that is overseen by Judge Lee Harrod.

National Drug Court Month is coordinated by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP). This year, treatment courts throughout the nation are advocating to ensure continued federal and state funding for these effective, evidence-based programs. This week’s uplifting graduation event is evidence of the tremendous impact the program has had on our community and will send a powerful message that these programs reduce addiction, crime and recidivism while saving lives, families and valuable resources for our state.

There are more than 3,000 treatment courts in the United States annually serving 150,000 people.

Since 1989, treatment courts have saved more than 1.5 million lives and billions of tax dollars.

“Treatment courts are a proven budget solution that stops the revolving door of arrest and

incarceration for people with substance use and mental health disorders. They prove that justice is

sometimes best served by connecting people to treatment and resources to help them turn their

lives around,” said NADCP CEO Carson Fox. “Treatment courts save lives and resources and must be

expanded to meet the growing need.”

Research continues to show that treatment courts work better than jail or prison, better than

probation and better than treatment alone. Learn more about national treatment court research at

AllRise.org.