Drug court receives $70K grant

Staff Reports • Dec 17, 2015 at 6:36 PM

The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services issued a $70,000 grant to the 15th Judicial District Drug Court recently.

“This is one of four revenue streams that funds drug court,” said Jeff Dickson, drug court coordinator. “We have been fortunate to procure similar grants throughout the years.”

This was the 12th year of continuation of funding since the inception of the program in 2002. The 15th Judicial District includes Wilson, Macon, Trousdale, Smith and Jackson counties. Wilson County serves as the administrator of the grant money and is the headquarters for the program.

“I want to thank Wilson County, Mayor [Randall] Hutto and Trustee Jim Major for providing administrative support for this program,” Judge John Wootten said. “They’ve undertaken this for years and I am grateful for their continued efforts and other logistical support that allows us to provide this alternative to incarceration.

“Our drug program has had two strong proponents, [former] Gov. Phil Bredesen and Gov. Bill Haslam. Our program isn’t the largest in Tennessee, but it is one of the oldest. It takes people who are addicted to drugs and effectively changes their lives.” 

The purpose of the drug court program is to provide community-based treatment and supervision for adult non-violent felony offenders, whose contact with the court is driven by drug or alcohol abuse. The program focuses on treatment, employment, education and supervision. 

The program is set up on a three-level system, with the first level significantly heavy on the treatment. As the levels progress, employment becomes an absolute requirement to stay in the program. The final step of the program encourages continued education. 

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