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Sun, Sep 21, 2014

Delegation fights for drug court

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NASHVILLE – With the passage of the Fiscal Year 2012-13 budget for the state of Tennessee, lawmakers from Rutherford County are touting their successful effort to secure vital funding for the Rutherford County Drug Court Program.

The spending plan for the state, House Bill 3835, passed by a margin of 64-28 and included $87,500 in appropriations for continued funding of the program — an increase of $37,500 from last year’s budget. The program is the third largest of its kind in the state.

State Reps. Joe Carr (R—Lascassas), Rick Womick (R—Rockvale), Mike Sparks (R—Smyrna), and Pat Marsh (R—Shelbyville) each voted for the bill upon final passage in the House.

“This facility is setting the standard for intervention and treatment in Tennessee,” said Womick, who led the effort to increase the program’s funding. “By securing this funding we are ensuring this program continues adding to its strong record of success in Middle Tennessee.”

Following the passage of the budget, Carr added, “This funding is critical because this program plays an important role in helping those individuals who want to work toward recovery. Essentially, it helps to ease the stress on our overloaded court system by placing requirements on those who have committed misdemeanors and felonies so they can be rehabilitated.”

Sparks said, “I’m proud to continue my work supporting the Rutherford County Drug Court program. They are leaders when it comes to helping families suffering from addiction with the latest in drug treatment and intervention methods.”

Marsh said the delegation worked hard to make sure everyone understands the benefits of the program, not just for Rutherford County but for the entire Middle Tennessee area.

"I’m proud we could get this additional funding included in the budget,” Marsh said.

The Rutherford County Drug Court Program consists of two programs: The Adult Drug Court and The DUI Court.

In the Drug Court and DUI Court, individuals are identified who are violating the law because of their addiction. Those individuals are then court-ordered into the program, which consists of long-term treatment, random drug screens and judicial supervision. The program aims to break the cycle of addiction and crime thereby reducing the rearrest and reincarceration rates in Rutherford County.

There are now drug courts in every judicial district in the state of Tennessee. The Rutherford County Drug Court has been named a mentor court by the state of Tennessee.

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Crime, Drug Court, Drugs, General Assembly, GOP, Joe Carr, Mike Sparks, Pat Marsh, Politics, Rick Womick, State
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