Some Iowa Drug Courts May be Eliminated in Budget

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By Jay Knoll

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - Officials worry that three eastern Iowa counties may lose their successful drug court programs because of a lack of funding.

The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports the federal grants the program has received since 2008 will end June 30, and the Iowa Department of Corrections doesn't want to pay for the program.

The intensive court program helps repeat non-violent drug offenders with treatment and close supervision. Research shows the programs have proven more effective than prison.

There are currently 10 drug courts in Iowa. Officials say they cost about $60,000 a year apiece.

The programs that may be eliminated are in Black Hawk County and another one serving Dubuque and Delaware counties.

Diane Thomas, with the Substance Abuse Services Center, says she hopes the program will be saved.

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