Judicial Branch, State of New Hampshire
| For Immediate Release:
October 21, 2016
Budgets for Strafford and Rockingham County Drug Courts
CONCORD, NH – The Public Information Office of the Judicial Branch today announced that the state has approved the budgets for the drug courts in both Strafford and Rockingham Counties to fund the programs through December 31, 2016.
The drug courts were originally paid for with federal start-up grants from the U.S. Department of Justice and they have since expired. Following the success of the programs, county governments now fund the efforts which will mean $197,002 for Strafford and $138,594 for Rockingham for the remainder of the current year. For fiscal year 2017, the commissioners from both counties will submit new budgets to their delegations made up of state representatives. These new budgets for drug courts will also require approval from the state.
Alex Casale, Statewide Drug Offender Program Coordinator, is pleased with the financial support, saying, “We need drug courts now more than ever in New Hampshire. To continue our success rate of helping people in the criminal justice system that are addicted, proper funding must be in place for the rest of 2016 and going forward. I am confident that Strafford and Rockingham will continue to make real differences in the lives of those individuals who struggle with substance abuse but who have made a commitment to get sober and stay sober through support from their drug court program.”
Drug courts connect felony, misdemeanor and parole-level, substance-dependent offenders to an integrated system of intensive alcohol and drug treatment in the community. This intensive treatment is combined with regular court appearances, case management, strict court supervision, progressive incentives and sanctions, and community supervision though the NHDOC-Probation/Parole. By linking participants to treatment services, the program aims to address offender’s addiction issues that led to criminal behavior, thereby reducing recidivism, reducing victims, and enhancing public safety. Drug Court is designed to be a 12 to 24-month alternative sentencing program, divided into three to five court phases and four to five treatment levels, averaging 12 months, followed by an additional 12 months of probation/parole and aftercare. Strafford County started New Hampshire’s first drug court in 2004 as an unfunded pilot program which was federally grant-funded in 2006. Rockingham followed in 2010 with a separate federal grant.