February 17, 2014
The federal Government has recently doubled down on their investment in drug courts. What was once a $6 million federal program has grown to a major government project amounting to approximately one hundred million dollars.
As described in the Grant Publication,”The goal of the Adult Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program is to build and/or expand drug court capacity at the state, local and tribal levels to reduce crime and substance abuse among high-risk, high need offenders. States, Local courts, Counties, Units of local government, and Indian tribal nations are eligible for 60 grants.
States that are looking to improve, expand or enhance drug court services statewide and/or financially support drug courts in local jurisdictions are eligible for grants of up to $1.5 million over a three year period.
While not directly aimed at court-focused prison reform, it would not be difficult to design a grant project that would use its resources on offenders who were otherwise heading for prison. State agencies should take a long look at the money available under this and other federal programs, that can be used to reduce prison populations, drug abuse, and criminality in their communities.
“States applying for funding under this subcategory must demonstrate a statewide, data-driven strategy for reaching and expanding capacity of drug court options and services for nonviolent substance-abusing offenders, which may include: implementing new drug courts; reaching capacity of existing drug courts; and expanding/enhancing capacity of existing drug courts to reach specific or emerging offender populations with drug treatment needs. The support provided through such statewide awards must also be consistent with the evidence-based principles outlined above” (Drug Court Funding)
All applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on March 18, 2014.