Jackson County became just the second county in the nation—after Miami-Dade in Florida—to begin operating a Drug Court for non-violent offenders. Thorugh Drug Court non-violent offenders can "graduate" after going through court-supervised rehab and other counseling.
Drug Court is operated through the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office and is geared toward helping people begin their sobriety, find employment or enroll as full-time students and become productive members of society.
More than 3,000 people have graduated from the Jackson County Drug Court since it was started in 2018, with more than 96% remaining conviction free within 5 years of their graduation. The court quickly became a model for other jursdictions across the United States—and other parts of the world—to follow.
No Criminal Record
The Drug Court program lasts between 12 to 18 months, with participants receiving court-supervised treatment. Drug Court allows eligible individuals an alternative to the traditional criminal prosecution.
After a defendant agrees to complete substance abuse treatment, participate in community-based job training and stay drug free, his or her prosecution is put on hold until all requirements are met. When participants succeed in fulfilling those requirements and graduate from Drug Court, the charges against them are dismissed. Participants leave the Drug Court clean and sober, employed or full-time students, and without having a conviction on their record.
- Among the keys for an individual remain drug-free is bein employed.
- Drug Court understands the stigma of criminal record can significantly impede anyone's hopes securing sustain employment.
- And Drug Court recognizes that substance use disorders are better dealt with in a health care system, rather than in the penal system.
- 100% of Drug Court graduates are employed full-time or in school full-time at the time of their graduation.
- 96% remain conviction free after graduating from the Jackson County Drug Court.
Not only have other counties within the United States used the Jackson County Drug Court as a model, but officials from European nations have studied the Court for use in their countries.
Drug Court Programs
Drug Court programs include:
- Anger management
- Case management
- Employment training and placement
- Group counseling
- Individual counseling
- Prevention component for children
- Substance abuse treatment
- Women's groups
All services are provided by the Drug Court Client Advocacy Center.