Iron County Sheriff’s Drug Court Deputy Ryan Boehmke, Drug Court Administrator Kathleen Gill and Judge C. Joseph Schwedler receive a funding grant to operate Drug Court for 2013. Gill has helped secure more than $400,000 in funding for the program. (Drug Court photo)
IRON COUNTY—The Iron County Drug Court has received a $50,000 grant to fund operations.
“This grant should pretty much cover all of our operating expenses for the entire year,” said Drug Court Administrator Kathleen Gill. “The money is mission-specific for drug court.”
Gill said that the drug court has been funded by grants from the state Court Administrator Office in Lansing since its inception in 2004.
“Normally, we’ll have 18 to 25 people in the drug court program at any one time,” Gill said. “We have had more than 200 graduates throughout the years.”
While the conventional district court system has a recidivism rate of about 70 percent, only about half of drug court participants return to the criminal justice system. Gill is also the district court probation officer.
The drug court is used by Iron County Trial Court as an alternative sentencing program. To be adjudicated by the drug court, the defendant must be an Iron County resident, have one or more prior convictions involving drugs or alcohol and be facing one year or more in jail.
Participants must meet the criteria for drug or alcohol dependence but not have severe mental illness or have committed a violent crime.
“The reason the drug court works is that they get intensive therapy, intensive supervision, and we meet with them on a regular basis. There are daily drug tests and daily alcohol screenings. There is a lot of oversight, and it works,” Gill said.
Since taking over the program, Gill has helped secure more than $400,000 in grants for Iron County.