Jackson, Miss. Mississippi drug courts are handling a growing number of cases, and officials say they help people improve their lives through treatment and accountability rather than imprisonment. But funding for the courts remains stagnant.
The Clarion-Ledger reports that since 2008, the number of drug courts has grown 76 percent and participants have climbed from 1,821 to about 3,300.
The courts' $4 million funding has not changed; it comes from $10 assessments on criminal convictions, including traffic tickets. That's $3.6 million short of full funding, and officials cut back on money for felony adult drug courts and juvenile drug courts.
The Administrative Office of Courts says that last fiscal year, 58 babies were born to drug-free mothers who've been through drug court. That saved about $2.9 million in first-year health costs.