September 30, 2015

Warner, Kaine Announce More Than $1.6 Million In DOJ Funding To Improve Virginia Drug Court Services

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has awarded $1,695,445, in grant funding to multiple Virginia communities to improve and expand drug court operations.

“Drug courts are a proven, cost-efficient way of ensuring Virginians with addiction have access to the support and resources they need to ease the transition back to being functioning and productive members of society,” Warner said. “In many cases, drug courts can be self-sufficient after a modest initial investment to get them up and running. These federal dollars will ensure Virginians, particularly juveniles and veterans, get the treatment they need without getting stuck in our already-strained and overcrowded prison system."

“Drug courts are one of the most effective tools in combatting drug abuse and reducing recidivism,” Kaine said. “The evidence is very clear.  I’ve seen and heard from so many health and criminal justice professionals in Virginia about the critical role drug courts play in the rehabilitation process. An integral part of fighting the drug abuse epidemic is making sure we focus our attention on improving drug rehabilitation and treatment programs nationwide. Today’s federal funding is an investment in treatment, prevention and educational strategies that help Virginians with addiction reintegrate into society.”

The following Virginia communities and entities will receive funding under DOJ’s Adult Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program:

  • The County of Chesterfield, Virginia will receive: $400,000 in funding to support operations at the Chesterfield/Colonial Heights Juvenile Drug Court;
  • The City of Richmond, Virginia will receive: $400,000 in funding to support operations at the Richmond Juvenile Drug Court
  • The County of Pulaski, Virginia will receive: $345,617 in funding to support and expand a recently instituted single jurisdiction drug court;
  • The Cumberland Mountain Community Services Board in Cedar Bluff, Virginia will receive: $ 199,828 in funding to expand services at an existing drug court in order to serve veterans;
  • The County of Fairfax, Virginia will receive $ 350,000 in funding to open a new single jurisdiction drug court for veterans treatment.

Kaine has been an outspoken advocate on the importance of drug court services in the effort to curb drug abuse in Virginia communities, particularly heroin and prescription opioid abuse. He has worked at the federal level to combat opioid abuse and introduced bipartisan legislation to protect first responders, health professionals and family members who are educated in administering an opioid overdose prevention drug in an emergency situation. He is also a cosponsor of legislation that aims to curb prescription drug abuse among veterans. Last month, Kaine participated in a roundtable discussion in Radford with law enforcement, health professionals and Community Services Board members on the prescription drug abuse epidemic and heard about the impressive work being done in the local drug courts. Last year, he spoke at the graduation ceremony for 22 individuals in Roanoke at the 23rd Judicial Circuit of Virginia’s Drug Court graduation ceremony on completing their treatment programs.

Warner and Kaine are both cosponsors of the National Criminal Justice Commission Act, which would establish a commission to make recommendations for changes in federal oversight that would reduce recidivism and improve cost-effectiveness of the criminal justice system. Drug courts are a proven way of accomplishing these goals, while also helping to relieve the overcrowding of the federal prison system.

Today’s funding will be used to enhance drug services, such as substance abuse treatment, drug testing, transitional and community reintegration programs, and job training services.