Drug Court and DUI Court
Tulsa County continues to operate the largest Drug Court in the state. Following Tulsa’s example, Oklahoma County has now implemented a specialized DUI Court.
Offering court-supervised treatment as an alternative to incarceration in selected drug and DUI-related offenses can result in addressing addictions and improving lives, preventing repeat offenses, and saving public funds that would have gone to the prison system.
Drug Court had 400 active participants and DUI had nearly 150 at midyear 2009. During FY2009, Drug Court had 70 graduates and DUI court had 29. Together Drug & DUI Court averaged 747 participants during FY2009 with a monthly high of 825 in April 2009.
In August 2008, Drug/DUI Court added a Vocation/Educational Coordinator to assist participants with obtaining higher literacy levels, obtaining their GEDs, and pursuing higher educational goals of attending Tulsa Community College or other institutions of higher learning. The Vocational/Educational Coordinator also assists participants with obtaining employment, increasing their employability, and having better careers. In FY2009, 16 participants obtained their GED and 32 were enrolled in college or attending vocational training courses. Only one participant graduated during FY2009 without a GED. 67% of the participants are employed full-time. Between January-June 2009, the Vocational/Educational Coordinator had 1189 contacts with participants to assist them with their vocational and/or educational goals.
Training for treatment professionals and court partner agencies has been enhanced, with the goal of improving participant retention, treatment outcomes, and graduation rates.
The program's diversion of 747 defendants from the Oklahoma prison system is estimated to save over $13,446,000, using a $18,000 (medium security) per year incarceration cost model.
Other specialized courts include Veterans Treatment Court and Mental Health Court.
National Association of Drug Court Professionals: drug court model receives national recognition (5/17/2012)
Tulsa World story, 7/28/2012: DUI Court graduate says program is tough, but worth it
Drug Courts Cut Prison Costs (AP, April 2012)
Tulsa World editorial, 3/19/2012: State's Mental Health and Substance Abuse Problems Remain Unaddressed
In the photo: Team members at the Drug Court Specialty Day at the State Capitol, April 25, 2013
Tulsa COURTS Programs Participated in the All Rise America! National Motorcycle Relay for Recovery in May 2012
All Rise America! consisted of Drug Court graduates, Drug Court professionals, veterans, and other concerned citizens carrying the All Rise Gavel over 3,000 miles, stopping at National Drug Court Month events to honor individuals who have overcome their addictions and the people that make it possible. At each stop, the gavel was passed to a new group of riders as a symbol of the collective impact of Drug Courts and a reminder that when one person rises out of addiction and finds recovery, we All Rise. – All Rise America! Blog
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Actor Matthew Perry Lobbies for Drug Courts
5 / 6 / 2013 -- MSNBC's Hardball Reinforces Need for Drug Court Expansion!
750,000 viewers tuned in as NADCP’s All Rise Ambassador, Matthew Perry, and Chief of Science, Law and Policy, Dr. Doug Marlowe, were guests on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews. Matthews opened the segment highlighting Matthew Perry’s incredible advocacy work for Drug Courts this week on Capitol Hill and at the White House. Matthew Perry stressed the importance of Drug Courts as an alternative to incarceration for addicted offenders. Dr. Marlowe said, “It’s fair to say that 80% of criminal offenders are in prison in part because addiction is fueling their criminal activity. What we are trying to do is find a middle ground. We’re not going to let them go. We’re not going to endanger public safety. But we are also not going to throw them away.”
4 / 2 / 2013 -- from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals:
Last night, Matthew Perry was the first guest on the Tonight Show. After treating millions of viewers to a couple hilarious stories, the star of the NBC hit comedy Go On talked about his support for Drug Courts and his recent visit to Washington, DC to testify on our behalf. Jay Leno put up a tweet Matthew sent on March 21 that said, “Testify in front of Congress. Check.” and asked him to explain what it was all about. “That’s me lobbying for this wonderful group of people from Drug Courts,” he said. “Drug Courts take drug offenders and instead of throwing them in jail they put them in rehab so that they have the chance to change.” Following an enthusiastic applause from the audience, Jay asked him if the experience was intimidating. “Well, that is me asking those intimidating gentleman for $46 million. So I made sure to say please a lot. And we got it!”
Rose Ewing, Program Director, Tulsa COURTS Programs
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