The West Central Iowa Drug Court is asking for community support to help raise funds by sponsoring the third annual Ghiardelli caramel apple sale.
This program has provided services in Crawford, Cherokee and Ida counties since 2004 and is proud to announce that Monona County has joined the program this year. It is a rehabilitation program assisting drug offenders to become productive members of society.
The Drug Court is an effective tool in battling addiction and drug trafficking in Cherokee county and the surrounding areas.
The Drug Court process consists of selecting individuals to be admitted into the program. Any non-violent person who is convicted of a drug-related offense (possession, manufacturing, sale of or even burglary where the defendant is stealing to obtain money for their habit) can be sentenced to drug court. These individuals are then assessed and are either denied or accepted for drug court.
If accepted they are then required to attend bi-monthly court meetings chaired by the Honorable E.A. Jacobson. During these hearings the judge explores the participants' compliance in treatment, random drug testing (sometimes as many as three times a week), and maintaining 40 hours of employment.
If participants fail to meet any of the requirements and falls into the category of non-compliance, the offender is remanded to jail. If an offender continues to be non-compliant, he or she is released from drug court and their original sentenced is carried out. The Drug Court program provides added accountability and gives guidance that addicts need to recover.
The program is funded through drug court dues paid by participants and community donations. It is not funded by the state or federal governments. Studies show that for every $1 donated to Drug Court, taxpayers save as much $3.36 in avoided criminal justice costs alone.
It is also important to note that Drug Courts produce cost savings for the community that range from $4,000 to $12,000 per participant. These cost savings are a result of reduced incarceration costs, reduced revolving door arrests and trials, as well as reduced victimization.
The West Central Iowa Drug Court program currently involves 14 individuals. In the last year, three participants have graduated from the program. There has been a 64 percent success rate involving Cherokee County participants. Overall, 93 percent of graduates have not been arrested again for a drug-related crime.
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. It is an avenue to rehabilitate people through the court system instead of to incarcerate them where they would have no treatment for the root of their problems.
The Ghirardelli caramel apple fundraiser will assist with the mounting cost of running the program. The apples are first dipped in Palmer's caramel, next in Ghiardelli chocolate, then drizzled with white chocolate, and lastly rolled in Heath candy bar pieces. The cost is one for $15, two for $25 and 10 for $100.
Purchase of the apples is tax deductible.
Checks can be made out to the West Central Iowa Drug Court. Apples can be ordered by calling 712-269-6327. If there is no answer, please leave a message. Donations are also accepted.
Apples will be delivered in October as long as the Granny Smith apples are off of the tree in Washington by then. The fundraiser organizers are thankful to be working with Hy-Vee in Cherokee as they have been one of their biggest apple supporters and helped with the apple expenses for all past fundraisers.