“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?

  • They are a proven cost-effective method for diverting non-violent offenders from incarceration in prisons.
  • Drug courts lower the recidivism rate of offenders when compared to either incarceration or probation.
  • They allow offenders to remain in their communities, to support their families and to pay taxes.
  • Drug courts reduce the number of babies born addicted.
  • They reduce crime and the need for foster care, and they help ensure that child support payments are made.
  • 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 Process:

    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

    The Incentives (varies by case and tract):

  • Dismissal of charges upon graduation of program
  • Not sentenced to time to serve in the Missouri Department of Corrections or the Lincoln County Jail
  • Early termination of probation
  • Safe and sober social network
  • Tools to assist with sobriety
  • Eligibility for a limited driving privilege
  • Amendment of charges
  • Reunite with children
  • Strengthen and repair bond with children and family
  • Become part of a thriving Alumni network
  • Becoming a better person and member of the community
  • Important Forms for the 45th Judicial Drug Court:

  • (Link manuals/pc/waiver to drug court website)
  • Important Links:

  • 45th Judicial Drug Court Program
  • Missouri Association of Drug Court Professionals
  • Missouri Courts
  • Missouri Department of Mental Health
  • Missouri Department of Corrections
  • National Association of Drug Court Professionals
  • National Drug Court Institute
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • National Institute of Drug Abuse