|Drug patches are deemed an effective deterrent to relapses by offenders. How will we ensure the funding for these patches remains stable?|
Drug patches keep folks on probation off of drugs--they work.
Unfortunately-the funding for the patches is drying up locally and several judges have asked that we fund the purchase of these patches going forward.
from a judge's recent correspondence
"I was recently informed that the County would be unable to further fund drug patches for sentenced state probationers. Although I do believe that the patches are very cost effective, based upon observation and defendant testimony, I understand County budget constraints. The patches help probationers maintain their sobriety, avoiding future incarceration , family break down, and job loss..There is a problem presented with probationers who were already sentenced with the drug patch as a condition, usually a temporary condition. If the County could find a way to at least fund those already sentenced, which I believe are a half dozen or so, it would be greatly appreciated. Otherwise we will need to amend those sentences to make other provisions."
I even recently received a recording of an offender in court who successfully completed his probation for a cocaine charge--and he wholeheartedly endorsed a continuation of the program.
I have asked for cost details regarding this patch --and if no funding can be secured I am willing to fund the purchase of patches from my discretionary account so that judges continue to have this option in their sentencing tool kit.
from staff :
"the patches Corrections is providing in-house are $39.50 per patch. The patches are good for 10-14 days (depending on the conditions in which the patch is worn). Our current cost of incarceration (for FY17 taking into account out of county housing) is $71.80/day."
At today's committee of the whole, we will discuss this and potential funding options for this going forward--to include making an application from the Law Enforcement Trust Fund to pay for these patches.