|Monett Mayor Jim Orr signed a proclamation on Wednesday recognizing May as Drug Court Month. City officials and several members of the Barry County Drug Court Planning Team were in attendance to witness the signing, which was held in the Monett Municipal courtroom.||The proclamation read: "Whereas drug courts are the most effective tool for reducing substance abuse and crime in our criminal justice system; and whereas for the past 21 years drug courts have been restoring lives, reuniting families and making communities across the national safer; and whereas drug courts provide focus and leadership for community-wide partnerships, bringing together public safety and public health professionals in the fight against drug abuse and criminality . . . be it resolved that James Orr, mayor of the City of Monett, declares that Drug Court Month be established during the Month of May, 2010, recognizing the practitioners and participants who make drug courts work."|
Since May of 2008, the Barry County Drug Court has been operating locally as an intensive court-supervised treatment program dedicated to improving safety by breaking the cycle of crime and addiction through accountability. The group's stated vision is "to improve lives for individuals, families and community through a pathway of change for continuation of success in recovery."
To be considered for the program, participants must have a substance abuse addiction that led to their criminal activity and agree to comply with the rigorous standards of the drug court program. Drug court participants are held accountable for their actions by submitting to frequent drug tests, regular appearances before the judge and an intensive, yet individualized, substance abuse treatment plan.
A team approach is utilized in the drug court system, which involves the judge, probation officers, law enforcement, the prosecutor and treatment professionals.
Drug courts have been operating in the United States since 1994, and decades of research reveal that drug courts outperform virtually all other strategies that have been used with drug-related offenders. According to research conducted by Columbia University, "drug use and criminal behavior are substantially reduced while offenders are participating in drug court programs."
|Monett area residents will have the opportunity to witness the Barry County Drug Court in action when the May 27 drug court session is held at the Monett Municipal Court. The proceedings are open to the public and are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.|
Barry County Drug Court Planning Team members include: Judge Victor Head; Barry County Prosecutor Johnnie Cox; Cassville Police Chief Dana Kammerlohr; Drug Court Coordinator Cindy Puryear; Attorney Don Trotter; Probation and Parole Officer Nancy Foulke; Barry County Sheriff's Detective Brian Landreth; Earl Best, treatment coordinator; and Lisa Schlichtman, drug court evaluator.
For more information about the Barry County Drug Court, call Puryear at 847-3133.