Robeson County’s DWI Treatment Court, which was implemented a year ago, is expanding to a fully functional Adult Drug Treatment Court program thanks, in part, to assistance from faculty at UNC Pembroke.
The county was recently awarded a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs. The proposal was written by UNCP Department of Social Work professor Dr. Cindy Locklear
The funding will allow the county to expand its focus from adults struggling with alcoholism to those who abuse a variety of controlled substances. The new program will also provide treatment to adults that commit lower-level offenses to support their addiction by providing substance abuse treatment, both mental and physical health treatment and job training and placement.
Currently, there are 16 drug treatment courts in operation in North Carolina. This year, the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs awarded grants totaling more than $340 million to help fight the addiction crisis in the United States. Of the grants awarded for implementing new drug courts, Robeson County was the only county in the state to receive such a grant.
“UNCP has so many resources right here in Robeson County and it is wonderful to see these joint efforts come together. Grant proposals are lot of work, but it is worth it when you see the impact. Change occurs slowly and this is a good step forward. The whole drug treatment court team has been so dedicated in seeing this effort through.,” said Dr. Locklear.
In the fall of 2019, Locklear and fellow social work professor Dr. Frederick Stephens represented UNCP on a team of local health care and judicial representatives who helped establish the county’s first DWI treatment court. Locklear and Stephens, along with the help of recent UNCP graduate Alexis Ellis, assisted with developing policies, procedures and guidelines for the new system.
Treatment court promotes recovery through a coordinated, team approach including cooperation and collaboration of judges, prosecutors, defense counsel, probation authorities, treatment providers and law enforcement.
Studies have shown these innovative courts save taxpayer dollars and make communities safer.
“We would like to express our appreciation for UNC Pembroke for allowing Dr. Cindy Locklear to work with us and guide us through this application process,” said District Attorney Matt Scott.
“We appreciate the efforts and partnership with the Robeson County Government in helping us apply and implement this grant. We would also like to thank the Department of Justice for granting us this funding and giving us an opportunity to help our community.”