Despite Successful Past, Drug Court Faces Precarious Future


In 10 years, Kitsap County Drug Court has given 285 people a new lease on life. They are folks who once allowed drugs to rule and ruin their lives — and often the lives of those around them. But their dedication, along with the voluminous support and guidance of the drug court staff, has given them tools to control addiction and become productive members of society.

Yet the drug court’s future is uncertain. The court relies on a litany of grants and various streams of funding from federal, state and local government. It’s already had its share of financial problems. And in perilous economic times like these, such a budget structure can be problematic.

Hard to believe, given the fact, as Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna said Friday, that $1 to drug court saves $10 to $12 down the road to the criminal justice system.

I’m working on a project looking at drug court’s overall impact on the community through the eyes of its graduates, as well its administrators’ plans to keep it alive for the next ten years. I’d welcome anyone’s comments.

4 thoughts on “Despite Successful Past, Drug Court Faces Precarious Future

  1. “$1 to drug court saves $10 to $12 down the road to the criminal justice system….”

    It seems to me that each person saved from a druggie life and lifestyle is one less person committing crimes against society for the money to feed their drug habit.
    Fewer crimes save money and anguish from new victims. and the former druggies become law abiding citizens and become a community asset, not a financial drain and menace use to those around them.

    It is easy to understand the financial savings but more importantly each person saved from a life of drug use turns their life of despair and crime into a deeper, productive and meaningful life for themselves, family and friends.

    10 years and 285 saved people… how can we afford to lose them?
    Sharon O’Hara

  2. Not to mention that each family given a new sense of hope, and young children that don’t have to endure drug addiction. Many more then 285 have been saved, indirectly.

    I suppse I’m a little biased though.

  3. 285 people saved out of how many?

    Although I have never understood the attraction to drugs, I agree that even one less druggie on the street is better for everyone.

  4. Jim C…
    I never understood why drug addicts didn’t just quit taking drugs either.
    But when I quit a 49 year smoking habit, I discovered what “addiction’ to a drug really means.

    I craved, a gut wrenching ‘crave’ to smoke a cigarette. That almost unbearable craving to smoke lasted (albeit diminishing crave) over 2 years.
    Now, 12 years later all craving to smoke is gone.

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