Pubdate: Mon, 02 Apr 2001
Source: Daily Herald (IL)
Copyright: 2001 The Daily Herald Company
Author: Sue Church
Bookmark: (Drug Courts)


St. Charles has a drug problem. If you find it hard to believe, look at the 
police reports of the burglaries and armed robberies that are occurring - 
many of them to get money for drugs.

And the drugs aren't the little puffs of pot many of us tried when we were 
young. Heroin is in town, along with alcohol, cocaine, Ecstasy and others. 
I don't know about you, but the heroin, potentially addictive on the first 
or second dose, scares me a lot.

At a recent community forum, I learned of several fruitful and promising 
local efforts to deal with those who are addicted. One is Judge Doyle's 
rehabilitation court, a personal effort to deflect nonviolent adults who 
are addicted to get the medical and emotional help they need to 
rehabilitate themselves instead of sitting in prison, which has been the 
only alternative - and continues to be the only funded alternative.

The rehabilitation court has no budget. It serves adults 17 years and 
older. There is no rehabilitation court at all for those younger than 17. 
If you believe, even just hope, that people who are addicted need medical 
and emotional help to get back on track for leading noncriminal lives, we 
need to get behind programs that will provide this. They are much cheaper 
than prison in terms of money and lives.

The windfall tobacco money could be tapped to fund the rehabilitation court 
and to start one for children younger than 17. Call your state senators, 
Chris Lauzen at (630) 264-2334, Steve Rauchenberger at (847) 622-1049 and 
Doris Karpiel at (630) 894-2008.

Will the Kane County Board allocate emergency money ? Contact the Kane 
County Board at (630) 232-5931 or 719 S. Batavia Ave., Building A, Geneva, 
IL 60134.

Sue Church

St. Charles
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