LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Drug Court program is about to receive additional funding.
During a Tuesday afternoon news conference, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced an additional $1 million would be allocated to the state Adult Drug Court program. The money is from the settlement between Arkansas and opioid consulting firm McKinsey & Company, which settled for $500 million in 2021.
The $1 million will fund new and existing drug court programs, Janet Hawley, Specialty Court Coordinator for the Administrative Office of the Courts stated in a post-conference interview.
Drug Court is a voluntary 14-month to 18-month program for participants who have a substance abuse disorder and are identified as “high-risk, high-need,” Rutledge noted in a release sent after the news conference.
Those selected for the courts must have no previous or pending felony convictions involving violence or a sex offense record.
The courts use evidence-based treatment of the selected individuals under strict supervision. The participant is overseen by a judge, prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, treatment provider and law enforcement liaison.
There are currently 49 Adult Drug Court programs operating in 47 of the 75 counties in Arkansas. Each of the 28 judicial districts in Arkansas has at least one Adult Drug Court.
It is overseen by the Administrative Office of the Courts, in partnership with the Specialty Court Program Advisory Committee, chaired by Chief Justice John Dan Kemp. The Office of the Courts and the Advisory Committee hope to expand Adult Drug Court Programs into the remaining counties throughout Arkansas.