Drug courts mark 10,000 grads

Drug courts in Missouri have proved effective, counting more than 10,000 successful graduates since the program began in 1993, court advocates said on Thursday.

The combination of justice, treatment and social services keeps non-violent offenders of substance abuse-related cases out of jail, saving the state nearly $500,000.

But judges, advocates and the graduates themselves are not finished fighting for support.

At a success celebration at the Capitol, Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice William Ray Price Jr. said legislators are supportive of drug treatment programs.

“But we’ve got to turn that

support into funding,” said Price, chairman of the Missouri Drug Court Coordinating Commission and president of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.

Currently the Missouri drug court system receives $5.7 million from the state, but requests for funding reach nearly twice that amount, Price explained.

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