YORK—York County has been awarded two grants totaling more than $1 million for efforts to expand and enhance the York County Court of Common Pleas' DUI Court.
DUI Court was established in 2010 as a pilot program to reduce recidivism and save taxpayer dollars by addressing participant drug and alcohol treatment needs. Instead of going to jail, offenders accepted into the program are kept under close supervision while undergoing treatment for their addiction.
York County was recently awarded a total of $1,098,433 in two grants for the program. The U.S. Department of Justice provided a $903,626 grant, and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) awarded a grant of $194,807.
"We are grateful to these two agencies for their support, which will allow us to build upon the proven success of this program," said York County Common Pleas Judge Stephen P. Linebaugh. "Like each of our treatment courts, DUI Court helps offenders receive much-needed treatment and ultimately saves taxpayer money by keeping offenders out of jail."
Both grants will help pay for personnel and services necessary for the DUI Court to expand beyond a pilot program.
The Adult Drug Court Discretionary Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice provides two years' of funding for a dedicated DUI Court Administrator and for the cost of testing and screening DUI Court participants.
The PCCD grant will be used to support the salary of a Public Defender and Probation Officer, both of whom will be dedicated to the DUI Court. PCCD funding will also be used to purchase additional SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring) service.
The SCRAM is a device that provides around-the-clock detection of alcohol and is a cost-effective method of monitoring offenders to keep them accountable to a Judge's orders to abstain from alcohol.
"For offenders accepted into this program, it's not enough to lock them up and assume incarceration will prevent a repeat offense," Linebaugh said. "The Courts must take a pro-active approach that addresses the root cause of the offense. The DUI Court has proven to be an effective tool to accomplish this goal. Facilitating the growth and success of all Treatment Courts is just one more weapon in our fight to keep our communities safe."
York County consistently ranks among the top five in gross DUI cases among Pennsylvania counties, a disproportionately high rate. York County is the eighth largest county by population in Pennsylvania, according to 2010 U.S. Census data.
In addition to the DUI Treatment Court, the York County Court of Common Pleas also operates a Veterans Treatment Court, Drug Court and Mental Health Court.
Total net taxpayers savings for all Treatment Courts in 2011 reached $147,454.74. The DUI Court program saved $24,884.82.