“Drug courts are an effective and cost efficient way to help non-violent drug offenders commit to a rigorous drug treatment program in lieu of prison.”
—President George W. Bush
The 45th Judicial Drug Court program began in this community in November of 2004. There are 143 treatment court programs currently in operation in the State of Missouri. Currently the 45th Judicial Drug Court program consists of: Adult Drug Court, Felony DWI Court, Misdemeanor DWI Court, Co-Occurring tract, Family and Revocation/Re-Entry Tract. To date, the program consists of over 250 participants. The Drug Court is typically a 12-24 month program which varies depending on the individualized needs of each participant. The mission of the 45th Judicial Circuit Drug Court is to increase public safety and provide a cost-effective alternative to traditional sentencing practices for non-violent addicted offenders.
Why drug courts?
Typical incarceration in the State of Missouri per offender per year costs the state of Missouri $14,538 per year while drug court costs are $6,190 per year per offender. Initially, drug courts are more expensive than regular probation. However, due to the higher recidivism rate for probation, savings result in the second year. Based on a city of St. Louis cost-benefit analysis, after two years, the state gains $2.80 for each $1 spent on drug courts. After four years, the state gains $6.32 for each $1 spent on drug courts. Drug courts improve and unify family bonds as well as provide a more economical decision over incarceration.
The Prosecuting Attorney’s office makes the determination that an individual would be eligible for the program and conveys that information to defense counsel and the team via referral. The individual would then respond to Probation and Parole or EMASS, depending on their charge, to be initially screened for the program. Probation and Parole conducts these screenings on Thursdays at 7:45 A.M. Individuals must first notify P&P of their intent to attend. EMASS conducts these screenings via appointment. The individual will then be briefly screened by Bridgeway Behavioral Health or Crider Health Center. After these screenings, the individual will be “staffed” by the Drug Court Team and a determination will be made as to whether or not the individual will qualify for acceptance into the program. The necessary individuals will be notified of the individual’s acceptance or denial into the program. If the individual has been accepted, it is vital to the success of the individual to expedite the entry process. Defense counsel needs to notice the individuals case up for plea on the next available docket day. Please refer to the Drug Court Policy and Procedures Manual, performance contract and waiver for the drug court program requirements.
Adult Drug Court Probation Officer:
Kristi Butler with Missouri Department of Probation and Parole: 636-528-5821, ext. 237
Felony DWI and Co-Occurring Probation Officer:
Doug Harlow with Missouri Department of Probation and Parole: 636-528-5821, ext. 228
Misdemeanor DWI Court Probation Officer:
Mike Roth, Eastern Missouri Alternative Sentencing Services (EMASS): 636-528-6517
Revocation/ Re-Entry Tract Probation Officer:
Varies by offense
45th Judicial Drug Court Administrator:
Heather Graham-Thompson: 636-528-0326