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The concept of Substance Abuse Courts first came to Ohio and began in Hamilton County Ohio in 1995. With the acceptance of three additional Drug Courts in 2004, Ohio leads the United States for states operating such program, surpassing the State of Florida where the first Drug Court began 15 years ago.

Drug Courts were developed as a result of America's war on drugs, judges around the United States were noticing that most of the defendants being brought before them were repeat offenders. Although they were repeat offenders they all had one thing in common, significant substance abuse issues directly or in-directly linked to their criminal behavior. Ideally it was the substance abuse issues the offenders were experiencing created the "revolving door" of criminal behavior and recidivism for the offender. The Courts felt that if the substance abuse issue was dealt with directly the offender would be able to control the "revolving door" thus saving the American taxpayers money by offering an alternative to incarceration.

The Morrow County Substance Abuse (MCSAC) program will provide you and your family with an opportunity to address your substance abuse issues with the full support of the Judges, Magistrates, Probation Officers, and defense attorneys, prosecutors, local treatment providers and educators. At the printing of this booklet there were 809 Drug Courts operating in the United States and its territories. Out of that number over 547 of them strictly dealt with adult offenders while 207 Courts dealt with the juvenile offender and their families. Over 300,000 adults are actively in Substance Abuse Courts and estimated 12,500 young people actively seeking help through Substance Abuse Courts.

Throughout this program, you will be required to achieve specific goals as set forth by the Court, your Probation Officer, and the various treatment providers or educators you may be referred to, along with any school official. The ultimate goal of a Drug Court programs encompass more than just a participant passing a drug test. Drug Courts strive to:

A) Identify offenders with substance abuse problems that have contributed to their criminal acts

B) Treat offenders, not just the offense, while protecting the community

C) Serve low (non-violent) level, drug and/or alcohol involved offenders

D) Conduct judicial reviews of the offender's progress in a non-adversarial manner

E) Provide guidance to treatment that includes rewards for inappropriate behavior and sanctions for achievements

F) Provide guidance to the offender towards substance abuse education, employment opportunities, continued higher education, and life skills training"

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