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Nov 5, 2015 7:19 PM

Drug court celebrates 1 year anniversary

NH1.com

NASHUA - One day after the Executive Council agreed to a special session to work on laws related to the heroin and opioid crisis, including the issue of drug courts, one drug court program is celebrating its 1 year anniversary.

Hillsborough County Superior Court held an open house Thursday to highlight the programs successes and to answer questions from community leaders.

The Adult Drug Court has supported 34 individuals, said Judge Jacalyn Colburn. The success rate is about 90 percent, she said.

Krystal Boyle was arrested for bank robbery and had been using heroin when she was recommended for the program.

“It saved my life. I think without it I never would have changed my views on anything because I am so comfortable being incarcerated,” she said.

Now Boyle is working and plans to get a degree. Her goal is to find a job in the criminal justice system.

Boyle was one of several people enrolled in the program who attended the event. Most were nearing the end of the program and received praise from the court. One woman who had only been in the program for a short time recently violated rules, which included connecting with another person in the program and going to a known ‘drug house’ in Nashua. Judge Colburn punished her with one night in jail and the drug court team decided she must be in residential treatment to continue with the program.

Funding for drug courts is a major hurdle, Colburn said.

The Hillsborough south program recently received a federal grant that will fund up to 50 participants at at time through fall of 2018.

The Executive Council is expected to tackle the issue of drug courts when they begin a special session on November 18th.

In a press release this week, Governor Hassan pushed for the 2016-2017 budget to include $3.1 million dollars to implement a statewide drug court system.

Currently, drug courts exist in five of the ten counties in New Hampshire.

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