Drug program making a difference in Dallas County

Published 8:14 pm Friday, March 27, 2015

Dallas County is one of only a handful of places in the entire United States that will receive money from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention for its family drug court program.

We’ve written in the past about how the drug court is making a difference for those facing a drug or alcohol problem in our community and as a result has helped in lowering the county’s crime late.

Instead of putting those with non-violent addictions behind bars, the program deals with finding the root of the problem and helps those involved overcome those issues.

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Dallas County’s drug court was one of only five places in the country to get funding. The other states were Colorado, Iowa, New York and Ohio.

According to information from the OJJDP, family drug courts have higher rates of parental participation in substance abuse treatments, longer stays in treatment, higher rates of family reunification and shorter stays in foster care.

In an area where drug and alcohol abuse problems hit too close to home for many families, we remain all in on the drug court program.

The program is needed not only to avoid overcrowding in jails, but it also helps treat the issue instead of just putting a person away. The point in jail is to rehabilitate so people can become productive members of society, something the drug court is striving for as well.

Of course, drug court isn’t for everyone. Those with a history of violent crimes aren’t eligible and shouldn’t be, but there are those in the system who need this court to turn their lives around.

We’re excited that the local drug court, led by judge Bob Armstrong, was able to secure this funding. We’re also excited about the change the extra money could enact on our streets.