Drug court officials lobby for money

A Snohomish County judge and the county’s drug court administrator traveled to Washington, D.C., to urge lawmakers to put $40 million for drug courts back into next year’s federal budget.

Superior Court Judge George Bowden and administrator Karla Standefer on Thursday joined lawmakers and actor Martin Sheen in pushing for the federal money to be restored in the 2008 budget.U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., organized the event. The current budget proposal cut all federal drug court funding. Sheen, who starred as a U.S. president in TV’s “The West Wing,” showed up as a supporter of drug treatment programs.

“Drug courts work,” said Larsen, co-chairman of the House Methamphetamine Caucus. “I urge my colleagues to restore funding for drug courts and invest in a strategy that works for our communities.”

In Snohomish County, officials have begun cutting the number of people allowed into adult drug court, which Bowden oversees. The current number of about 150 participants will be reduced to half that over the next year because of funding problems.

The local judges are seeking more funds from the county executive and county council to hire an additional coordinator to screen and monitor candidates.

“Our program reflects the crisis for drug courts across the country,” said Bowden, who was in Washington, D.C., for a drug court training session. “The more federal funding the more attention we draw.”

Earlier, Bowden said the county’s success rate is impressive with a 94 percent success rate getting addicts into treatment and keeping them from committing new crimes.

Drug courts are voluntary programs that strive to help addicts who say they want to get off drugs, stop committing crimes to support their habits and resume productive lives.

It costs more than $7,000 for an average 18-month program in Snohomish County. That includes frequent monitoring, drug treatment and participation in support groups.

Drug courts have been recognized as an effective weapon against methamphetamine, Larsen said. In 2005, the Justice Department released a report confirming that drug courts are an important part of the strategy against methamphetamine abuse, the Everett Democrat said.

Also attending were Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., and Rep. Jim Ramstad, R-Minn., as well as former national drug czar Barry McCaffrey.

Reporter Jim Haley: 425-339-3447 or haley@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

A fatal accident the afternoon of Dec. 18 near Clinton ended with one of the cars involved bursting into flames. The driver of the fully engulfed car was outside of the vehicle by the time first responders arrived at the scene. (Whidbey News-Times/Submitted photo)
Driver sentenced in 2021 crash that killed Everett couple

Danielle Cruz, formerly of Lynnwood, gets 17½ years in prison. She was impaired by drugs when she caused the crash that killed Sharon Gamble and Kenneth Weikle.

A person walks out of the Everett Clinic on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The Everett Clinic changing name to parent company Optum in 2024

The parent company says the name change will not affect quality of care for patients in Snohomish County.

Tirhas Tesfatsion (GoFundMe) 20210727
Lynnwood settles for $1.7 million after 2021 suicide at city jail

Jail staff reportedly committed 16 safety check violations before they found Tirhas Tesfatsion, 47, unresponsive in her cell.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Separate road rage incident ends with fatal shooting in Lake Stevens

A man, 41, died at the scene in the 15300 block of 84th Street NE. No arrests have been made.

Nursing Administration Supervisor Susan Williams points at a list of current COVID patients at Providence Regional Medical Center on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Dozens of Providence patients in medical limbo for months, even years

About 100 people are stuck in Everett hospital beds without an urgent medical reason. New laws aim for a solution.

Lynnwood man arrested, released on $25K bond after road rage shooting

Deputies arrested the suspect, 20, for investigation of first-degree assault on Tuesday.

Mt. Baker visible from the summit of Mt. Dickerman on a late summer day in 2017. (Caleb Hutton / The Herald)
Hornets pester hikers on popular Mountain Loop trails

“You cannot out run the stings,” one hiker wrote in a trip report. The Forest Service has posted alerts at two trailheads.

Most Read