Missouri courts to celebrate milestone: 10,000 individuals successfully have completed drug court programs

6 April 2011


Missouri courts to celebrate milestone: 10,000 individuals successfully have completed drug court programs


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Treatment courts in Missouri will commemorate their continued success in diverting nonviolent, substance-addicted offenders from the state prison system by celebrating 10,000 graduates since the program’s inception in 1993. The ceremony is scheduled to take place Thursday morning, April 7 at the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City.

The Missouri General Assembly is scheduled to recognize this significant achievement during the opening of the day’s business by reading resolutions on the House and Senate floors commending treatment court programs and graduates.

Judges, treatment professionals, graduates and current participants of Missouri drug court divisions are scheduled to gather at 9:30 a.m. in the third-floor alcove on the west side of the grand staircase to listen to remarks from Supreme Court of Missouri Chief Justice William Ray Price Jr., chair of the Missouri Drug Courts Coordinating Commission and president of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, regarding the success that the state’s drug court divisions have in diverting nonviolent offenders from the state prison system.

“Treatment courts are the most effective and cost-efficient way to fight substance abuse, reduce crime and make significant improvements in the outcomes of substance abuse treatment,” Price said. “By helping people in trouble face their problems and turn their lives around, treatment courts transform addicts into productive citizens, helping to break the familial cycle of addiction.”

Treatment courts add substance abuse treatment and intensive judicial supervision to traditional probation. Treatment court participants learn discipline and sobriety skills and are returned to their families and communities as productive, tax-paying citizens. As of March 1, 2011, there were 128 operational Missouri treatment courts: 85 adult drug courts; 16 juvenile drug courts; 13 family drug courts; 12 designated DWI courts; one veteran’s treatment court and one reintegration court.

Missouri’s drug court division graduates have only a 10-percent recidivism rate, compared with a 21-percent recidivism rate for probationers within two years of completing probation and a 42-percent recidivism rate within two years for offenders who are sentenced to prison. A recent university study projected Missouri will save more than $7,800 per offender per year by using treatment court diversions rather than incarceration. And thanks, in part, to Missouri drug court divisions, 500 drug-free babies have been born to treatment court participants. All but four of Missouri’s 45 judicial circuits have drug court divisions, making Missouri a national leader in treatments courts, with more drug courts per capita than any other state in the nation.

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Contact: Beth Riggert
Communications Counsel
Supreme Court of Missouri
ph: (573) 751-3676