Kosciusko County’s drug court will be absorbed into the community corrections program after a move Monday by authorities.
The Kosciusko County Community Advisory Board approved a plan to take over drug court as soon as possible.
The drug court is a diversion program that uses intense probation in order to rehabilitate high-risk offenders.
The court which was funded by a federal grant, faced uncertainty about its future after officials learned they had not received more grant money to continue operations after the end of September.
Community corrections will use program fees to fund the drug court.
Community corrections is funded through grants from the Indiana Department of Corrections and user’s fees.
The total income of the corrections program stands at $324,131.28.
Drug Court is expected to cost about $70,000 a year with the majority of it going to the salary of the drug court coordinator.
The current coordinator, Ron Ousley, would have to take about an $5,000 drop in salary if he wanted to stay aboard.
The new position would pay about $38,000 a year.
The board will not need approval from the Kosciusko County Council to make the move, but county attorney Chad Miner said that it would be best to keep county council in the conversation.
Kosciusko County Prosecutor Dan Hampton said there will be a full-time drug court coordinator and no drug court services will be eliminated.
The board also approved community corrections to create a drug court coordinator position.
The board would still have to get its budget approved, something that will be discussed at the next meeting on Oct. 9.
Once the budget is finalized, community corrections will be able to oversee the court.
It may take some time for a full transition, however Kosciusko?Circuit Court Judge Michael Reed, has already got permission from the county council to use drug court user fees to support drug court during the transition.
Reed talked of the need for the drug court program, given the current rise in drug use.
“We have a problem in our county,” Reed said.
The board estimated 18 people have died this year in the county from drug overdose.