The Commonwealth Senate’s proposed budget has allocated $150,000 for the creation of a drug court. A drug court will allow some first time, non-violent drug offenders to avoid the criminal consequences of a drug conviction on the condition that they successfully complete a multi-pronged rehabilitation program to cure their drug addiction. With this needed funding, the Commonwealth will be able to take an important step forward in tackling substance abuse on the islands.
While additional personnel and funding will be needed to create a fully operational program, the Senate’s proposed budget is an excellent step in the right direction toward eliminating the scourge of drugs in the Commonwealth. It is the Judiciary’s hope that the House of Representatives agrees with the Senate to allocate adequate funds for the drug court.
Associate Judge David A. Wiseman, with the support and assistance of Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro and Presiding Judge Robert C. Naraja, is leading the Judiciary’s effort to create a drug court.
“The implementation of a drug court will allow the CNMI to join Guam and all 50 states in a collaborative effort to address the devastating effects of crime on our families and communities. Drug court is the only nationally-proven method to stop the revolving door of short-term crime sentences for drug-related crimes,” said Wiseman.
“These defendants desperately need specialized counseling and treatment—and only a drug court can provide them with the help they need,” he added. (NMI Judiciary)