Las Vegas Justice Court has been awarded year 2 grant funding of $397,290 out of a 5-year Drug Court Expansion program totaling $1.95 million from the Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The SAMHSA Grant funding allows the Las Vegas Justice Court Drug Court program (LVJCDC) to expand its current program to provide sober living and outpatient drug treatment with medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for an additional 50 new participants each year for 5 years.
Current funding for LVJCDC is limited to only 60 participants a year, yet on average, 14 new participants are referred to LVJCDC each month, totaling approximately 168 new referrals a year. Over half the new referrals are opioid dependent and at least 5 referrals a month are homeless - both requiring enhanced services. Funding limitations have caused LVJCDC to restrict entry into the program. The SAMHSA Grant also funds enhanced counseling, random drug testing, co-occurring treatment, public transportation passes, work force assistance and additional social services. Without these additional services, both the opioid dependent participants and homeless participants face a higher rate of failure in the program. To adequately service these new project participants, the SAMHSA Grant funds a specialty court coordinator position.
Once a new referral is evaluated and accepted into LVJCDC, the goals are to (1) have any incarcerated homeless participant released into a stable, drug-free housing environment for at least one month and up to three months to gain stability; (2) provide participants substance abuse treatment, with MAT if needed; (3) assist participants in obtaining government issued identification if needed and (4) connect participants with local job and community resources to establish self-sufficiency while continuing in treatment to become drug-free and a productive member of the community. LVJCDC has a 79% compliance/retention rate of participants who are accepted into LVJCDC's program, requires a minimum of eighteen (18) months to complete, and is structured to address the individualized needs of the participants. The ultimate goal of LVJCDC is to assist participants in overcoming their substance abuse problem while also addressing their habilitation needs so that participants cease having involvement in the criminal justice system.