Missouri a National Leader in Drug Courts: State’s Top Judge

Missouri’s drug courts have more than 12,000 graduates who have successfully completed treatment court programs, according to the state’s top judge. “Missouri has become a national leader in drug courts,” Chief Justice Richard Teitelman said in an address to the state legislature this week.

The courts were established in Missouri two decades ago, according to the Associated Press. They are designed to divert nonviolent offenders who struggle with substance abuse to judicially supervised treatment programs, instead of prisons, the article notes. Missouri has drug courts in all but two of its 45 judicial circuits.

Almost 600 drug-free babies have been born to treatment court participants, Justice Teitelman said. More than half of participants successfully complete the program.

The report states that 7.1 percent of adults who complete drug court programs commit additional crimes within the next 30 months, compared with 15 percent for those who do not go through the programs.

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