Chief Justice Proclaims Drug Court Week May 17-21
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric J. Magnuson has proclaimed May 17-21 Drug Court Week to recognize the practitioners and participants who make Drug Courts work, and the significant contributions that Drug Courts have made, and continue to make, in reducing substance abuse and crime.
Drug Court Week is part of the "National Drug Court Month" campaign, coordinated by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP). The week commemorates Minnesota's involvement in the Drug Court initiative, which started in a Hennepin County courtroom 14 years ago as a strategy to reduce substance abuse and crime and strengthen public safety.
Like the other 2,400 operational Drug Court in the United States, Minnesota's 37 Drug and Mental Health Courts hear cases of offenders charged with drug-related crimes and in child protection cases where addiction is the underlying issue. Drug Courts relieve already overwhelmed court dockets, placing offenders in an environment where they undergo treatment and counseling, submit to random alcohol and other drug testing, make regular appearances before the judge and are monitored closely for program compliance. Graduated sanctions, including jail time, are imposed for noncompliance. Conversely, incentives are applied for continual compliance. Research continues to show that Drug Courts work better than jail or prison and better than treatment alone to reduce addiction and crime.
During Drug Court Week, communities across Minnesota will honor the work of the judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, treatment professionals, law enforcement, community supervision personnel, researchers, educators, state and community leaders and others who have dedicated their lives to helping offenders, families and communities overcome addiction. Special events during the month of May are occurring in Dakota, Blue Earth, Beltrami and many other counties.
As part of the week, May 20 marks "National Drug Court Commencement Day." On this day, Minnesota's Drug Courts will join others across the Nation by holding graduations, celebrating the individuals who are in recovery and have restored hope for their lives. One such event will be the 100th graduation for the Ramsey County Adult Substance Abuse Court.
Read the Proclamation (PDF)