CLEARFIELD – A drug court has been established in Clearfield County, announced District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. on Wednesday.
He said over the past year, a committee comprised of service providers, probation officers and jail staff worked in a collaborative effort with the District Attorney’s office to establish the program.
While it’s been a “very involved process,” he said the county has all the necessary, major components in place to operate a successful drug court.
For example, Shaw said a case manager is now available at the county jail to interview and evaluate prospective drug court candidates during the preliminary hearing stage.
He said a physician has also been brought on staff who will be able to participate in the evaluation process, and also verify the veracity and suitability of each candidate for the program.
The case manager and physician are being provided through funding from the Clearfield Jefferson Drug & Alcohol Commission, according to Shaw, and are at no cost to taxpayers.
“[I’m] very excited to formally introduce a drug court to Clearfield County,” he said, adding, “an informal drug court has been ongoing for the past year to test and modify policies and procedures.”
The goal of the program is to identify first-time offenders who are non-violent drug users and to divert them to intense counseling to prevent future drug use and criminal behavior.
“If we can stop the drug use early, we have a chance to prevent future crime and to reduce the burden on our court system and overcrowded jail,” Shaw said.
Shaw thanked Susan Ford, along with her CJDAC staff, Cen-Clear Child Services, Clearfield County Probation and multiple service providers for their support.