NECMF

Mar 22, 2016 5:22 PM

NH Senate bill would require state to cover half of costs to expand drug courts

NH1.com

CONCORD - A Senate bill that would require the state to cover half of the costs to fund new and existing drug courts, is expected to pass.

Supporters said the current court system is overwhelmed by drug cases, and traditional methods have high recidivism rates.

"We think at the end of the day it's going to be good for the courts, the system itself and to give people another chance," said Tilton Police Chief Bob Cormier of the Police Chief's Association.

The current adult felony drug court programs are established in Cheshire, Grafton, Rockingham and Strafford counties. Supporters say they have proven successful.

Treatment and recovery advocates said drug courts helps people transition back into society and stay connected with peers in recovery.

Gov. Hassan is supportive of the bill and said there is plenty of funding for the state to pitch in.

"Revenues have outpaced projections by at least $60 million dollars in this fiscal year. What we need is roughly $3 million dollars to expand our drug courts system statewide," said Gov. Hassan.

She said she's urging the legislature to pass the bill.

Colleen Shaughnessy is a multimedia journalist for NH1 News. You can email her at cshaughnessy@nh1.com and follow her on Twitter, @ColleenNH1.

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