Quantcast

More Drug Courts Coming To Southeast Kansas - KOAM TV 7

More Drug Courts Coming To Southeast Kansas

Updated:

 
Crawford County, KS leaders are looking to establish a specialty court program for first and second time drug offenders.

Drug court is a certified drug treatment program. The program is gaining popularity across the country, especially in communities struggling to stop the cycle of drug abusers. 

Donna Lowery is a recovering drug addict, who says she first tried marijuana at the age of nine. 

"I got introduced to meth when I was 13 then got introduced to the needle when I was 16.  I got taught how to manufacture meth when I was 16 and it all went downhill from there," said Lowery.  

Growing up in what she called a dysfunctional family, Lowery says she knew she needed help, but didn't know where to go.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice: Crawford, Cherokee, and Labette counties have been designated as a Federal Drug High Trafficking Area.

11th District Court Judge Lori Fleming wants to end the cycle of drug abusers in the area. 

"We have a variety of problems right here in Crawford County ranging from drug abuse, violence, poverty and we have a very high rate of children in foster care and those things are all issues that don't seem to be improving," said Fleming. 

That's why county leaders are working to establish a specialty drug court.. 

"Recidivism is a problem it really is with drug addiction and drug addict behavior. People are going into the court system and their coming out and going right back in that's not good for any community," said Pittsburg Police Chief Mindy Hulvey. 

Pittsburg ranks in the top of the state for property crime, which Chief Hulvey says stems from drug use. 

"I think it's an opportunity for us to challenge ourselves here and look at treatment as an option to combating the drug problem here," said Hulvey.  

Drug court for the county will be a rehabilitation type process, offered to juveniles and adults. However, if an defendant is unsuccessful sanctions are followed strictly.  

Judge Fleming says the success of the program can be determined by neighboring county Allen County's drug court. 

"In the 31st Judicial District their population is very similar to ours they face many of the same problems we are excited to see their success," said Fleming.  

Allen County's drug court program began a year ago. So far the program has two graduates. 

"I was not a firm believer when we first started talking about the drug court program," said Allen County Attorney Wade Bowie. 

Chief Judge of Allen County Dan Creitz says, the program benefits first and second time offenders from making the same mistake.  

"Ten years ago in Kansas we passed a bill called Senate Bill 123. Its been modified many of times. It's a mandatory drug treatment crime so as judge they come to me and their Senate Bill 123 they cannot be sent to prison," said Creitz. 

The alternative is the drug court program.  

To be apart of the treatment program the person has to be a felon, they cannot be a manufacturer, they must have no serious personal crimes on their record, and they cannot be an alcoholic.  

One 4-stater credits an Southwest Missouri drug court for his success in getting clean. 

42 year old Steve Campbell graduate from a drug court program in McDonald County, Mo. 

"I really didn't see my addiction as a problem. I knew it caused problems but I never saw it as a problem," said Campbell. 

Through his addiction Campbell continued to work and support his family financially.

"It become such as habit I didn't know what it was like not to be high. Until I went to drug court and got clean," said Campbell. 

He says his sober life is much more fulfilling, than the life he led as an addict. 

"I got my relationship with all four of my children. I'm very active in my children's lives especially sports and I'm going to be a grandpa in March," Campbell said. 
 
The National Institute of Justice says, the impact of drug courts lowers recidivism, cuts cost in the criminal justice system, and a two year follow up study on one drug court showed the felony re arrest rate decreased from 40% before drug court to 12% after drug court stated. 

"You can see in the way they present themselves they are proud they are happy you can tell it's making a positive impact on their life," said Bowie.

Crawford county officials do not have an official date at this time for it's drug court.. 

County leaders say they are working now to find the funding. They believe they can operate the courts on a shoe string budget of around $10,000.

 

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Carthage plant bringing 160 jobs to the area

    Carthage plant bringing 160 jobs to the area

    Friday, April 18 2014 5:20 PM EDT2014-04-18 21:20:41 GMT
    A Carthage, Missouri cheese plant has begun an expansion project that will bring jobs to the area. Schreiber Foods says the 29,000 foot expansion will add 160 jobs to the plant. The plant will also re-purpose 67,000 square feet to install material handling and storage capacity for cheese, ingredients and packaging materials.More >>
    A Carthage, Missouri cheese plant has begun an expansion project that will bring jobs to the area. Schreiber Foods says the 29,000 foot expansion will add 160 jobs to the plant. The plant will also re-purpose 67,000 square feet to install material handling and storage capacity for cheese, ingredients and packaging materials.More >>
  • New Joplin city manager may be at least another six months away

    New Joplin city manager may be at least another six months away

    Friday, April 18 2014 5:08 PM EDT2014-04-18 21:08:09 GMT
    Councilman Mike Woolston says former city manager Mark Rohr's salary, including compensation and benefits, was about $200,000 at the time city council fired him.  Joplin's new city manager may be paid the same.More >>
    Councilman Mike Woolston says former city manager Mark Rohr's salary, including compensation and benefits, was about $200,000 at the time city council fired him.  Joplin's new city manager may be paid the same.More >>
  • Carthage Dentist Uses Good Friday To Offer Free Services

    Carthage Dentist Uses Good Friday To Offer Free Services

    Friday, April 18 2014 5:06 PM EDT2014-04-18 21:06:56 GMT
    One Four State Dentist observes Good Friday as time to offer free dental services to patients. It's owner says it is aims to make Good Friday, Great for those in need."It's hurting me constantly," said patient Carrie Smith. Carrie is hoping to spend her Good Friday getting a tooth pulled. It's not how many would choose to kick off Easter weekend, but thanks to Herrington Dentistry in Carthage it won't cost Carrie a single penny. "We open up our office as a way of being missionaries in our own...More >>
    One Four State Dentist observes Good Friday as time to offer free dental services to patients. It's owner says it is aims to make Good Friday, Great for those in need."It's hurting me constantly," said patient Carrie Smith. Carrie is hoping to spend her Good Friday getting a tooth pulled. It's not how many would choose to kick off Easter weekend, but thanks to Herrington Dentistry in Carthage it won't cost Carrie a single penny. "We open up our office as a way of being missionaries in our own...More >>
Powered by WorldNow

KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas
Send tips, ideas and press releases to: tips@koamtv.com
Send newsroom questions or comments to: comments@koamtv.com
Phone: (417) 624-0233 or (620) 231-0400
Web comments or questions: webmaster@koamtv.com
Newsroom Fax: (417) 624-3158

Powered by WorldNow All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KOAM. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.