CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Senate will honor the state’s Adult and Juvenile Drug Courts with a resolution on the Senate floor designating February 10 as Drug Court Day.
Before the day’s floor session, Senate President Bill Cole will join Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Supreme Court Justice Brent D. Benjamin in the Lower Rotunda for a ceremony to honor the first 1,000 graduates of Drug Court programs.
Also scheduled to speak are First Judicial Circuit Judge Martin Gaughan, who established the first adult drug court in 2005 in the Northern Panhandle, and several drug court graduates from across the state.
“I am pleased to recognize these excellent programs that have helped so many West Virginians overcome issues with substance abuse,” Senator Cole said.
There are 24 adult drug court programs serving 40 counties, and 16 juvenile drug courts serving 20 counties. Adult drug courts will be established in all 55 counties by July 1, 2016.
In Fiscal Year 2012-13, the average cost per adult drug court participant was $7,100 compared to $18,250 in jail or $26,448 in prison. The cost per graduating juvenile drug court participant was $6,900 compared to the $96,000 it costs for the juvenile to be in a Department of Juvenile Services facility for the same time period.
“The benefits of this kind of intense treatment program go far beyond the savings to the state,” Senator Cole said. “These programs save lives, especially the lives of our young people, by intervening early.”