BENTON COUNTY, Wash. –
Benton County District Court announced Tuesday the new addition of its new Recovery Court following the success of its Mental Health Court and Veterans Therapeutic Court programs. Recovery Court will be for people charged with a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor criminal charges and diagnosed with substance abuse disorder in Benton County.
Similar to current programs, Recovery Court is based on the Drug Court model. Providing intense supervision, access to resources and engaging them in a process of recover, the participants are more likely to stay sober, leading to stable employment. This avoid future involvement with the criminal justice system.
Funding for the court is partly from a grant from the Administrative Office of Courts. It’s since been funded by the Benton County Safety Sales Tac 2023-2024 budget.
Currently, the tax funds the Benton County Mental Health Court and Veterans Therapeutic Court.
Current Judge for Recovery COurt is Honorable Jennifer Azure. Command Jon Schwarder from Richland PD is serving as Law Enforcement Liason for Recovery Court. Kennewick Police Department and Benton County Sheriff’s Office will join in providing Therapeutic Courts with a Law Enforcement Liaison.
About Recovery Court Recovery Court is a treatment court specialized to reframe the traditional legal process, making an emphasis on accountability and intense monitoring.People participating in the treatment are required to take part in substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling-if needed, submit to regular drug testing, do community service, live in clean and sober housing, attend regular court appearances and are monitored closely for program compliance.The goal is to break the cycle the effect the criminal justice system and supports participants by promoting responsibility and accountability.
Treatment Courts help reduce the costs related to criminal case processing and incarceration but and average of $6,000 per person.