What Have the Courts in the Fort Worth Area Done to Combat Drug Addiction?

Avoiding criminal defense attorneys, prosecutors, and judges, Flower Mound police officers have focused their efforts on deterrence and rehabilitation. Flower Mound, Texas has taken a new approach to combat drug use among juveniles and young people. This approach responds to the growing number of drug related deaths in Denton County.

Flower Mound has called this initiative ‘I.N. the Know’. “I.N. the Know” requires members of the public to identify and notify the police of at risk youth. Police will gather information to save lives instead of filing criminal charges. Every tip is anonymous. The police will use the information to contact the parents of the child to address the drug use.

Tarrant County has addressed this problem differently. Fort Worth courts have created several drug court programs. The juvenile and criminal courts have drug court programs focused on rehabilitation. Drug courts have been created throughout the country to address the growing drug problem. Tarrant County offers two programs: D.I.R.E.C.T. and D.I.R.E.C.T. diversion programs.

D.I.R.E.C.T. is designed as a drug court program addressing felony and misdemeanor drug charges. Participation is confidential. In fact, disclosing the names of participants violates federal law. Each participant must meet several criteria, and agree to complete the different phases of the program. The county charges participants between $1,800.00 and $2,500.00. The program is an intense 6 to 12 month program that requires a serious commitment. D.I.R.E.C.T. diversion is slightly different. This program costs between $600.00 and $850.00. The District Attorney determines if someone is eligible rather than the program director. By employing the proven techniques of drug courts, these programs help participants solve substance abuse issues.

The town of Flower Mound has taken a different approach. Unlike the drug courts offered in Tarrant County, the I.N. the Know program will not generate data to test whether the program is working. Additionally, the loose structure of the Flower Mound program may not encourage recovery. Although it is an interesting approach, the enticing aspects of the I.N. the Know program will also make it hard to measure its success.



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