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Examining Plymouth County Drug Court

Updated to Feature both Part 1 and Part 2

Part 1

(Le Mars) -- Last week the Plymouth County Drug Court hosted the Chamber of Commerce coffee as
a way to help educate the public about Drug Court and its purpose and responsibilities.
Plymouth County Drug Court Executive Director Don Nore says Drug Court isn't set up to pass judgement on those people convicted of crimes with addictions to drugs, alcohol, or other addictions.
He says Drug Court offers a counseling session to help the offenders.

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Nore says incarceration is not always the answer for those with drug or alcohol addictions

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Nore says the Plymouth County Drug Court program is successful and rather unique to the state of Iowa. 
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He says the Plymouth County Drug Court operates on a "shoestring" budget.

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The Drug Court executive director says 23 individuals are currently attending drug court.  Over the past five years, the local program has had 126 people attend.  Nore says although the drug court is successful, he admits that not all people are able to graduate from drug court.  Sometimes, if the person violates their parole terms, that individual is placed in custody at either jail or prison. Tomorrow we will continue our series of reports on examining the Plymouth County Drug Court and we'll have the comments from a local judge.

 

Part 2

(Le Mars) -- We continue our series focusing on the Plymouth County Drug Court.  Today we hear the perspective of the local community drug court from the Honorable Jeff Neary, a judge for District 3.  Neary oversees the activity with the local drug court.  We learned that Plymouth County is unique because it is one of the few drug courts set up as a community panel, and according to Neary, that makes for a better program.

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Neary says the Plymouth County Community Drug Court assists people from around the region, not just from Plymouth County.  He says the drug court panel meets with the clients each month for a period of 12 to 14 months, helping the offenders to change their life.

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Neary says on occasion an offender takes a step backward with the program, and he uses his authority as the district judge to place the person in jail for short term period.  Neary says many times the offender comes out of the short jail sentence with a better perspective.
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The district judge says an important part of a drug court's graduate program is being able to get a job and build confidence and self-esteem and maintain some order and stability with

their lives.  Neary suggests employers take a risk and hire the drug court's graduates.

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The Plymouth County Drug Court is looking for volunteers to serve on the drug court panel.



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