Beginning in January 2014, Kosciusko County will begin a three month trial of something known as Drug Court. Hoss Smith, manager of the Warsaw Serenity House, said of the program, “It’s designed to take those with addictions and put them with strict supervision and rules to follow.”
The goal of Drug Court is to first and foremost guide those with drug and alcohol addictions into sobriety and second, offer them a chance to have their drug charges reduced or even dismissed.
Kosciusko County Prosecutor Dan Hampton told StaceyPageOnline.com that Drug Court “will have an alternative sentencing structure for the purpose of encouraging rehabilitation for those with addictions.” He also said of the program, “It may alleviate their criminal conduct. It’s just a way for (offenders) to rehabilitate themselves and take ownership of their addictions and their actions.”
Hampton said a committee of appointed representatives will review the charges on a case by case basis and decide who will be offered an option to have their case tried in Drug Court. “It will mostly be drug offenders who show a pattern of drug abuse,” he explained, noting that in some cases those admitted to the Drug Court program could be arrested for other cases, such as theft. Theft is often a result of an addiction for those looking for ways to afford their habit.
Kosciusko County Circuit Court Judge Mike Reed will oversee the trial Drug Court. Those offered access to the program will be required to plead guilty to their crime. If they are successful in completing rehabilitation and all other requirements of the court, Hampton said the individuals would see modifications in what their sentences would be or even have charges dismissed.
“Eighteen months to 2 years is the process to show they are on the path to rehabilitation,” the prosecutor added.
The winners in Drug Court are society, individuals and families, said Smith, who is among the Drug Court Team members who will be reviewing the cases.