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Lincoln County: Saving lives, families and tax dollars

Lincoln County Courthouse

Lincoln County Courthouse

Lincoln County Celebrates “National Drug Court Month”

The Lincoln County Drug and HOPE Court programs save lives and families, save taxpayer dollars, and keep individuals out of jail and prison and engaged with their communities as productive citizens.

In celebration of “National Drug Court Month,” court, law enforcement and social services will hold a public recognition ceremony at 2:30 pm on May 20th, in the Lincoln County Courthouse. The Honorable Thomas O. Branford, will deliver the keynote address.

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At any given time, approximately 40 persons are enrolled as participants in the Drug and HOPE Court Programs, which provide intensive comprehensive drug treatment and supervision. These programs are often called problem-solving courts, which are designed to get at the underlying reasons why certain individuals commit crime, are unable to effectively parent their children, or are unable to be productive members of our community.

In the case of Drug and HOPE Court participants, the underlying cause of their behavior is substance abuse and addiction. In Oregon, an estimated 78 percent of property crimes are committed by substance abusers in order to support their addiction.

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Drug and HOPE court participants must meet their obligations to themselves, their families, society and, in the case of property crimes, to their victims. To ensure compliance, participants are randomly tested for drugs, required to appear in court to check their progress, rewarded for doing well, and promptly punished for not fulfilling their court-ordered obligations.

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Research continues to show that drug courts and HOPE programs work better than jail or prison, better than standard probation, and better than treatment alone. Nationally, 75% of individuals who complete drug court are not re-arrested. In Lincoln County, that figure is 84%.

Problem-solving court programs throughout our nation demonstrate that a combination of accountability and compassion should be the foundation upon which our criminal justice system handles addiction. This May, the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners celebrates two of our four highly successful problem-solving court programs by proclaiming May “Drug and HOPE Court Month in Lincoln County, Oregon.”

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