The Colorado Judicial Department applied for and recieved $2,701,012 in grant funding from the Recovery Act: Edward Byrne Memorial Competitive Grant to support the Colorado Drug Court and DUI Court – Statewide Enhancement Project. This is a two-year grant project and was awarded in October 2009.
Grant funds will be used to create 15 new Full Time Equivalent (FTE) probation officers, probation supervisors, support services staff, and drug court coordinators.
The goals for the Adult Drug / DUI Court Enhancement Project are to:
1) Reduce the number of prison bound drug offenders by increasing the capacity of existing Adult Drug Courts in Colorado to a level that will serve fifty percent of the drug abusing offenders who meet drug court criteria;
2) Provide needed resources that will allow trained DUI court teams to become operational; and,
3) 3) Close gaps and inconsistencies that exist in court operations by funding drug court coordinator FTE.
Colorado adult drug courts currently serve approximately 25% of the eligible drug court population. To support the national theme of “Taking Drug Courts to Scale” (National Association of Drug Court Professionals) the Colorado Problem Solving Court Advisory Committee in concert with the Colorado State Court Administrative Office prepared a five year plan intended to bring adult drug courts to scale.
In FY 2009 the Colorado Judicial Branch prepared a 1.7 million dollar budget request to the Joint Budget Committee (JBC); requesting funds for 26 FTE to stabilize operational adult drug courts at 50 percent of their calculated capacity. Because of the looming budget crisis the Judicial Branch significantly reduced the drug court budget request. The final request submitted to the JBC will only stabilize Colorado adult drug courts at 35 percent of the calculated capacity. Grant funds will subsidize state dollars to increase operational capacity by 15 percent; stabilizing Colorado Adult Drug Courts at 50 percent of full capacity.
There are currently four DUI Courts operational in Colorado. These programs have become operational through limited existing funds and Department of Transportation grant funds. In an attempt to increase the quality and number of DUI courts in Colorado the State Judicial Department, in collaboration with National Center for DUI Courts (NCDC); National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); and Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), sponsored a DUI Court Team Planning Training in Firestone Colorado. Four DUI court teams attended this training and continue the planning process and are moving towards implementation. However, local and CDOT funding is not adequate to fund these start up programs. Given the current economic crisis these jurisdictions will not become operational unless additional start-up funds become available.
Grant funds will provide the following deliverables:
1) Eight probation officer FTE, one probation officer supervisor FTE and one support staff FTE dedicated to adult drug court and DUI court in Colorado.
2) Five drug court coordinator FTE dedicated to drug court and DUI court in Colorado
3) 15% (900) more offenders served through adult drug courts in Colorado.
4) Up to four nationally trained DUI court programs become operational.