Anoka County was awarded two federal grants this week that will allow it to launch a drug court and to expand its veterans court.
The U.S. Department of Justice awarded the county $350,000 to develop an adult drug court program focused on reducing recidivism among nonviolent drug offenders; and $300,000 to expand the Veterans Treatment Court to include more participants and increase training.
Both are three-year grants.
The Anoka County Adult Drug Court will bring together justice system and community organizations to deliver treatment for addiction and mental health issues, as well as other services designed to foster positive change in the participants’ behavior, the county said in a news release.
The program will also provide strict supervision, including frequent drug testing and regular mandatory check-in court appearances. The program is expected to last 18 months for each participant. Program officials anticipate serving 25 to 30 people at a time, and between 50 and 60 people during the three-year grant.
The federal grant will allow the program to hire a drug court coordinator and evaluator, and fund the participation of a probation agent and defense attorney.
The Anoka County Veterans Treatment Court takes a collaborative approach to addressing the specialized needs and challenges of veterans facing criminal charges.
Anoka’s veterans court has graduated 22 participants since it began in 2012, and has 19 active participants. The program boasts a zero recidivism rate among graduates.
The grant will allow the court to increase its capacity to at least 25 participants, while offering a peer mentoring program and legal representation for participants.
In addition, the grant will fund more training for the veterans court team, as well as additional staff positions.