JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri's drug courts are marking a milestone of graduating 10,000 participants since they began in 1993.
The special courts divert nonviolent, substance-abuse offenders to judicially supervised treatment programs instead of prisons. Missouri has 128 treatment courts, mostly for drug offenders but also for people convicted of drunken driving.
Several dozen treatment court staff and participants were honored Thursday in the Missouri House and Senate. Chief Justice William Ray Price Jr., who is chairman of the Missouri Drug Courts Coordinating Commission, encouraged them to lobby lawmakers for more funding. Price said treatment courts get $5.7 million but could use about twice that amount.
The judiciary says drug court graduates have a 10 percent criminal recidivism, compared with a 21 percent rate for people on standard probation.
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