A bill that expands the reach of drug treatment courts in the state of Missouri recently was passed in the State General Assembly. Now those who suffer from substance abuse will have more options.
The bill was passed by the lawmakers and signed by the governor. It consolidates Missouri’s treatment courts – adult treatment court, DWI court, family treatment court, juvenile treatment court, and veterans treatment court. It also updates state statute to reflect the reality of the treatment court system today.
One important part of the bill is that it expands treatment courts to counties that don’t have them because of the cost to operate them. Now, a person in a county that does not have treatment court can be transferred to a court that offers treatment court as long as all parties agree to the transfer. The bill also sets standards of best practices for treatment courts throughout the state.
Advocates of the program emphasize that this is not a “get out of jail free card” program. The treatment program generally takes two years and requirements participants to meet plenty of requirements, such as obtaining employment or completing an education, staying clean with frequent random drug testing, and attending treatment meetings.
The governor also signed legislation that helps encourage students to pursue career paths in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Another bill also passed sets out to bring more awareness to domestic violence, and will allow victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, human trafficking or stalking to better keep their personal addresses confidential from the public’s access. The state’s office will provide a designated substitute address for survivors to use when creating new public records, as well as the option to securely forward mail to their confidential addresses. The hope is that this will keep survivors’ confidential addresses out of the hands of their assailants.
All in all, the recent General Assembly passed several helpful laws that will help those in need.