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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

One sweet fund raiser

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The West Central Iowa Drug Court is a rehabilitation program which assists drug offenders in becoming productive members of society. It has been an effective tool in battling addiction and drug trafficking in Cherokee County and surrounding areas since its inception in 2004. Services have been provided in Crawford, Cherokee and Ida Counties, and they are proud to announce that Monona County is joining the program this year.

The Drug Court process consists of selecting individuals to be admitted to the program. Any non-violent person who has been convicted of a drug-related offense such as Possession, Manufacturing, Sale of Drugs, or even cases of burglary, where the defendant is stealing to obtain money to support their drug habit, can be sentenced to drug court. If accepted, they are then required to attend bimonthly court meetings chaired by the Honorable E.A. Jacobson. During these meetings, the Judge explores the participant's compliance with treatment, random drug testing (sometimes as often as 3 times/ week) and maintaining 40 hours of employment. If participants fail to meet any of the requirements and fall into the category of "non-compliance,"the offender is remanded to jail. If they continue to be non-compliant, they are released from drug court and their original sentence is carried out. The Drug Court program provides added accountability and gives guidance that addicts need to recover. Drug Court is the second chance addicts need at life. Instead of incarcerating participants, the program teaches them to live as productive, responsible members of society.

West Central Iowa Drug Court is fully self-supporting. The program is funded through Drug Court dues paid by participants and by community donations. It does NOT receive any funding from either the state or federal government.

Studies have shown that Drug Courts produce cost savings to the community that range from $4,000 to $12,000 per participant, the result of reduced incarceration costs, reduced "revolving door" arrests and re-trials, as well as reduced victimization.

The West Central Iowa Drug Court currently provides supervision for 12 individuals. In the last year, 8 participants have graduated from the program. In Cherokee County, there has been a 64% success rate, and overall, 93% of program graduates have not ben arrested again for a drug-related offense. These statistics show that Drug Court is an effective and worthwhile program that is keeping drugs and drug dealers off the street. It is helping to build safer communities, prevent recidivism, reunite families and promote sobriety. The program has had over 70 participants since it began. With a program estimate that drug addicts commit at least one felony per day when they are using, the West Central Iowa Drug Court program has cut out approximately 70 felonies a day in our communities.

As with many self-supporting programs, costs to run the program have been mounting. With that in mind, the West Central Iowa Drug Court program is asking for community support to help raise funds to help the program continue. Last year, the program had a Ghiradelli caramel apple fundraiser, and they have decided to do this again this year.

These apples are first dipped in caramel, then Ghiradelli chocolate. They are then drizzled with white chocolate and lastly sprinkled with Heath candy bar pieces. The cost for one is $15; you can get two for $25; and 10 for $100. All profits go toward assisting in the cost of running the program. Checks should be made out to the West Central Iowa Drug Court, and

apples can be ordered by calling 712-269-6327. If there is no answer, please leave a message. Donations are also accepted, if you'd like to help out with program costs, but would rather not purchase the delicious apples.

The apples will be delivered at the end of October.

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