Pubdate: Thu, 31 Mar 2005
Source: Huntsville Times (AL)
Copyright: 2005 The Huntsville Times
Author: Laranda Nichols, Times Marshall County Bureau
Bookmark: (Drug Courts)
Bookmark: (Drug Test)


Testing Firm Gives Award To Court Referral Services For Success With System

GUNTERSVILLE - Marshall County Court Referral Services Inc. was recognized 
as a "Center of Excellence" Wednesday when it received one of only three 
awards given nationally this year by a drug testing company.

Randy Daniel, president of Dade Behring Inc., presented the award to Angela 
Sparks, the CRS director, at the agency's office in Guntersville.

Dade Behring is based in Deerfield, Ill., and provides a drug testing 
diagnostics system to the agency. The system includes drug testing 
equipment and a data management program. Also on hand were representatives 
of the Huntsville-based Integrated Management Solutions, a subsidiary of 
Dynetics Inc. It designed and installed the data management system.

According to a news release from Dade Behring, the Marshall agency was 
recognized because of its success in using the company's Syva drug testing 
diagnostics system. The system is used to intervene and help break the 
cycle of substance abuse, addiction and crime among offenders.

Daniel said only two other agencies, both in Indiana, received the award 
this year.

He praised the agency as being "on the forefront" in the battle against 
drug abuse, and several local judges attending the ceremony agreed.

Circuit Judge David Evans said the local courts have started to take the 
agency's service for granted. When he handles domestic court cases, he said 
he sends a group of participants to the agency for drug tests, which he 
receives before court hearings begin that day. "A lot of them 'fess up 
(without going for a drug test) because they (the agency) are so good," he 

District Judge Tim Riley said the court referral service works with other 
agencies to fight drug abuse as well, teaching classes at the county's work 
release center.

"All you have to do is call and they are there," he said.

District Judge Howard Hawk said when he speaks to community groups about 
"the tsunami of meth," his title for the rapid growth of use of crystal 
methamphetamine in the county, he tells them Marshall County has services 
that other counties don't have, including a court referral service.

He said the county's juvenile drug court is drug testing parents as well as 
their children. And parents who don't have children in the court system can 
also get a drug test on their children at CRS.

The county was one of the first in the state to establish an adult drug 
court five years ago. Currently, Sparks said the agency is conducting about 
2,400 individual drug screens a month, with six to seven drugs tested for 
each time.

"Thirty-five to 40 percent of the positive tests come up positive for 
meth," she said.
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