Following discussion earlier this month about the future of Dearborn's Drug Court program, Dearborn City Council elected to continue the program with city funding—at least through the end of the year.
The Drug Court program is run through the 19th District Court, and provides alternative sentencing for some defendants convicted of drug-related charges within the city, including community service and drug testing.
After banking on the continuation of state funding for the program, court officials were surprised to learn that, as of Oct. 1—the start of the state's fiscal year—their funding would be cut.
Court officials requested that the city continue the program, at least through the end of 2012, using general funds from the city.
The end of the $35,000 annual grant left the court $14,577 short for finishing out 2012.
At Tuesday night's City Council meeting, councilmembers elected unanimously to fund the program through Dec. 31, 2012.
Court leadership, including Chief Judge Richard Wygonik and Judge William Hultgren, explained via memo that ending the program abruptly would cause issues for the court, and its participants.
"This will allow the court to continue monitoring the current 23 participants along with giving us the opportunity to look for any additional grants that may be available," administrators wrote in the memo.
Judge Mark Somers, who oversees Dearborn's drug court, went a step further with his request, penning a memo alleging that "drug courts work," and that the city should continue to budget for the program this year and for years to come.
At a discussion on the topic Oct. 2, councilmembers seemed hesitant to continue the program at all. The 2011 graduation rate for participants of the program was 16 percent, or eight of 59 people.
Council on Tuesday did not mention any support of the program after the current Dec. 31 funding deadline.