County Adult Treatment Court Hopes to Expand
Campbell County Adult Treatment Court is seeking to expand this year, a decision based on high success rates and a current wait list, and a move that would require more state and county funding.
Adult Treatment Courts Coordinator Chad Beeman, alongside District Court Judge John R. Perry, presented information including the need for 12 additional slots and a proposed third track to handle misdemeanor drug charges at a Campbell County Board of Commissioner’s meeting last Thursday, Jan. 16.
Then, at the regular Tuesday meeting, on Jan. 21, the commissioners unanimously voted to approve the 25% matching grant for $93,921 for inclusion in the court’s annual application to its main funding source, the Wyoming Department of Health.
“We fully support the program,” newly-named Commission Chairman DG Reardon said.
In the county’s grant application for fiscal year 2020, which begins July 1, 40 total slots are being requested from the state. The court has 28 state-funded slots yet currently has 33 participants, with the county picking up the cost differential through internal cutbacks within the department, Beeman said.
“Unless we get funding for the additional slots, the startup of the third track may be delayed,” he added, noting that he will not know how many spots will be awarded until a few weeks before July.
Beeman further stated that three people are currently on the waiting list for the DWI Court track and another seven remain on the Felony Treatment Court’s waiting list.
“Chad, you guys do a great job with this program and hopefully we can get additional slots,” Chairman Reardon said.
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The local DWI Court has a 97% success rate and on the felony side it is around 94%, which is well above the national average that hovers at around the 60% range, Beeman said. Before the program’s implementation, the detention center used to house around 200 inmates per day and, now, it houses approximately 145.
“We can see those successes in our community,” Perry said, noting that the funding component has not caught up with the current legislative philosophy.
He continued by explaining that treatment court costs the county around $6 per day, while inmate incarceration costs the state around $127 a day, though he believes that figure may be higher.
“If we can keep the taxpayer in mind with less cost and keep our people in the community, we have done the best service we can do for the county and the state,” Perry added.
Commissioner Rusty Bell suggested Beeman visit with Wyoming legislators to get conversations going that could potentially help fill the cost gap between the county and the state in the future.