County gets grant for its drug court.
Lane County Department of Youth Services has received the sole U.S. Department of Justice juvenile drug court grant made in Oregon.
The grant, $500,000 over a three-year period, is part of more than $34 million in disbursements announced by Attorney General John Ashcroft to plan, establish or improve drug courts for nonviolent, substance-abusing adult and juvenile offenders.
Lane County was one of 94 jurisdictions in 31 states and two territories to receive grants, which range from $159,211 to $500,000. Its grant, which will pay for services to 55 young people, will be submitted to the Board of County Commissioners for approval after final federal appropriations.
The drug court grants are part of efforts to stop drug addiction and break the cycle of crime associated with substance abuse.
"The link between drug use and juvenile crime is direct," said Rob Selven, youth services casework supervisor. "Research shows drug use is related to recurrent and violent delinquency that can extend through adulthood.
"To break the cycle, the most successful treatment ensures community safety, holds the youth accountable for their actions and provides drug and alcohol treatment. ... You can't put a price on the lifelong, positive impact this funding will have on the kids, their families, and the community."
In March 20000, the Department of Youth Services planned and developed a pilot juvenile drug court program with the help of a National Institute of Justice grant. That program helped the county secure one of the highly competitive juvenile drug court grants, officials said.