FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Rob McCallum, State Court Administrator’s Office, 303-837-3633
Sue Cobb or Sarah Moss, Mayor’s Office, 720-865-9016
Lynn Kimbrough, District Attorney’s Office, 720-913-9025
, Denver Police Department, 720-641-0210
Denver Drug Court – New and Improved!
A newly redesigned Drug Court is now up and running in Denver, designed to help ease the crushing volume of felony court cases while at the same time offering life-changing treatment to people whose drug addiction is contributing to criminal behavior.
The emphasis is on immediate assessment, intervention, and placement in treatment with a strict monitoring program and immediate consequences for non-compliance. The program uses a full range of incentives and intermediate sanctions to help defendants overcome their addictions and eventually graduate from Drug Court.
Denver’s redesigned Drug Court opened its doors March 9, 2007. It is anticipated that 1800 new defendants will be in Drug Court on an annual basis. At any given point in time, it is anticipated that 400-500 defendants will be under the supervision of County Court Probation and 1000-1200 will be under the supervision of District Court Adult Probation. It is estimated that up to 30% of the criminal filings on an annual basis will be diverted from traditional District Court calendars.
Denver Drug Court was originally established in 1994 as one of the first Drug Courts in the nation. In 2002 the court was scaled down for a variety of reasons. Since that time efforts to combine treatment with monitoring and sanctions continued on a limited basis.
Denver’s Crime Prevention and Control Commission is credited with revitalizing the Drug Court. Over the last two years, the Commission worked to bring together the resources of the City of Denver, Denver courts, the District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, the Probation Department, the Denver Police Department and treatment providers.
Regina Huerter, executive director of the Commission says, “Drug Court is the right direction for Denver in tackling this issue. The treatment, supervision and intervention tools of the Drug Court will help make the community safer while still holding defendants accountable for their behavior.”
Funding for Denver Drug Court
is provided in large part by the City and County of Denver
for an initial 18-month period and will be re-evaluated based upon effectiveness.