The Crawford County Drug Court is expanding its reach and services thanks to a $76,000 grant.
The grant, from the Adult Redeploy Illinois arm of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, will pay for a drug-testing machine, as well as testing supplies and additional counseling for program participants. It will also allow the court to bring in six more non-violent drug offenders.
Currently, eight drug offenders are enrolled in the alternative program that keeps them out of prison and puts them on a path to recovery.
"There are people out there who would be right for the program," said Stevi Holscher, the probation officer who meets with drug court participants regularly and administers drug tests required by the program. "It won't be hard to find six additional people."
But still, many potential participants opt for serving their time instead of making the effort required of drug court. That includes individual and group counseling, drug testing and meeting with Judge Christopher Weber and Holscher regularly.
The grant was written by RE-NEW, the non-profit tasked with raising funds for the program. Director Bev Turkal, President Shirley Treadway and Vice President Connie Calvert have also secured support from county churches, Robinson High School's Interact and community organizations.
"It says a lot about this community, when there's something like this that needs funding, people step up," Calvert said.
Crawford County's drug court was established in February 2011. The program takes two years to complete, and they expect to have their first two graduates in the spring.