Portman announces funding for drug courts and veterans courts now available

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) today announced that funding authorized as part of his bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA)—which President Obama signed into law—for establishing or enhancing drug courts and veterans courts is now available.

Under CARA, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is now seeking applications to establish or enhance drug court services, including treatment and recovery support services for states and local communities. Portman worked hard to make sure that CARA-supported drug courts like the one he visited in Hocking County integrate evidence-based treatment for individuals struggling with opioid abuse or heroin addiction. Portman also worked to ensure that service members discharged because of an addiction can now be eligible to participate in veterans courts. As he wrote in his Logan Daily op-ed, “we all benefit from the success of these programs.”

Today, Senator Portman released the following statement, “These courts work. I’ve seen that firsthand. That’s why I’m pleased that this funding authorized in CARA is now available. Funding to establish or strengthen existing drug courts will help turn the tide of addiction by getting more people the long-term care that they need. These grants will also help our veterans who have sacrificed so much for us to break the cycle of drug abuse through a program of rigorous treatment and personal accountability. These drug courts save lives, and as CARA is implemented, they will be more effective than ever.”

The FY 2017 solicitation offers three drug court grant categories: Drug Court Implementation, Drug Court Enhancement, and Statewide Drug Court Grants.

· Drug Court Implementation- Grant maximum: $400,000 over 36 months. Implementation grants are available to eligible jurisdictions that have completed a substantial amount of planning and are ready to implement an evidence-based adult drug court. Applicants may propose to use funding for court operations and services; participant supervision, management, and services; provision and coordination of recovery support services including education, civil legal assistance, job training and placement, housing placement assistance, primary and behavioral health care, and childcare and other supportive services.

· Drug Court Enhancement- Grant maximum: $400,000 over 36 months. Enhancement grants are available to eligible jurisdictions with a fully operational adult drug court. Funds can be used to: 1. Scale up the drug court program capacity to better meet the actual number of eligible high-risk/high-need justice-involved persons in the jurisdiction. 2. Enhance court operations including training programs for drug court practitioners, drug court program evaluations, performance management system implementation, and automated management information system implementation. 3. Expand or enhance court services in areas such as case management, including drug testing, case management, and community supervision. 4. Improve the quality and/or intensity of services based on needs assessments; for instance, funding may be used for enhancing treatment services (including cognitive behavioral therapy), enrollment in and access to health care coverage, education, vocational training, job training and placement, drug free or transitional housing assistance, and childcare or other family support services for each participant who requires such services.

· Statewide Drug Courts- Grant maximum: $1.5 million for state-based coordination of services over 36 months. States may request up to $300,000 to improve, enhance, or expand drug court services statewide through activities such as: training and/or technical assistance programs for drug court teams geared to improve drug court functioning and to increase drug court participation and participant outcomes; tracking, compiling, coordinating, and disseminating state drug court information and resources; increasing communication, coordination, and information sharing among drug court programs; conducting a statewide drug court evaluation; or establishing a statewide automated drug court data collection and/or performance management system.

States may request up to $1,200,000 to financially support drug courts in local or regional jurisdictions that do not currently operate with Bureau of Justice Assistance Adult Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program funding. States applying for funding must demonstrate a statewide, data-driven strategy for reaching and expanding capacity of drug court options and services for nonviolent but high-risk/high-need justice-involved individuals, which may include implementing new drug courts, or scaling up existing drug courts to better meet the actual number of high-risk/high-need individuals who are eligible and ready to participate in a drug court program.

The deadline to submit an application is Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

Please contact Linda Greenwood, Grant Coordinator for Senator Portman, at linda_greenwood@portman.senate.gov for assistance.