New budget includes funding for new recovery courts - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

New budget includes funding for new recovery courts

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NASHVILLE, TN (WRCB) -- The 2013-2014 budget for Tennessee includes funding to build nine new recovery courts.

The budget includes $1.56 million in funding to build nine recovery courts which help address needs of nonviolent offenders with mental health or substance abuse issues.

The courts that will be created through this funding will combine the services currently found in drug courts with those of mental health courts and veterans courts.

"We are facing a major prescription drug problem in our state," TDMHSAS commissioner Douglas Varney said. "We need to focus all of our resources in the most efficient, effective, and collaborative way to maximize our impact on this issue and drug abuse overall. And because so many people who are dealing with a substance abuse issue also have a mental health issue – a situation referred to as a co-occurring disorder – these recovery courts will be able to help them get all the help that they need at one time and in one location."

The courts serve juveniles and adults who meet criteria and willingly participate.

There are already a number of existing courts across the state. The location of the new courts has not yet been decided, but officials have been working with community leaders around the state – including judges, district attorneys, public defenders, treatment providers, faith-based organizations, parole/probation offices, veterans officials, and others – to  determine the best possible sites.

 

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