Pubdate: Thu, 18 Apr 2002
Source: Cranbury Press (NJ)
Copyright: Packet Online 2002
Author: Barry W. Johnson
Note: The Mr. Johnson is Director of the Monmouth County Board of Alcohol 
and Drug Abuse Services
Bookmark: (Drug Courts)


To the editor:

We are pleased that the Superior Court in Monmouth County began its "Drug 
Court" program on April 1.

With the strong support of Assignment Judge Lawrence M. Lawson and with 
Judge Paul F. Chaiet residing, Monmouth's Drug Court hopes to work with at 
least 110 offenders during its first year.

Research demonstrates that drug courts in other parts of the country have 
been quite successful: Less crime in communities; less addiction in our 
society; more drug-free, productive citizens living among us!

Clearly, drug courts are cost-effective: Treatments costs range between 
$1,300 to $3,500 per participant; savings in jail bed days alone are 
estimated to be at least $5,000 per defendant.

With the goal of reducing recidivist crime and increasing the number of 
sober, drug-free citizens, the Drug Court combines drug treatment services 
and intensive supervision for offenders in lieu of incarceration.

County residents who are charged with non-violent offenses and who have 
been assessed as appropriate for alcohol/drug abuse treatment services are 
eligible for the Drug Court. Offenders who enter the drug court must comply 
with clinical treatment protocols and with judicial rules; if not, an 
offender will most likely be incarcerated. We applaud the state for 
establishing the drug court.

We hope that our Monmouth County communities will join us in the effort to 
make the Drug Court a success: by providing support and help to Drug Court 
participants who are returning to communities; they will have successfully 
completed treatment and are beginning recovering from alcohol/drug abuse 

Barry W. Johnson

Director, Monmouth County Board of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services
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