New drug court to be certified in Clark Co. after months of controversy

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by Renee Murphy

WHAS11.com

Posted on March 13, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 13 at 7:16 PM

CLARK CO., Ind. (WHAS11) -- A new drug court will be certified in Clark County, Ind. after months of controversy.

Officials from Indianapolis were in Jeffersonville on Thursday, March 13, reviewing the court and discussing ways to get it back on track.

Two drug court employees were accused of arresting people in the program when they didn’t have arresting powers. The staff is also accused of keeping drug court participants in jail longer than their sentence.

Drug court is about to be up and running in Clark County after a two hour meeting Thursday. It appears the program is ready to resume with some conditions.

“It's going to be run in a no-none-sense manner. We are going to give these participants every opportunity to succeed if they wish to do that. Those that are playing games, that are going to get away with anything, because of the confusion, are going to be in for a surprise because we are going to terminate those people and send them to prison,” Jeremy Mull, deputy Clark County prosecutor, said.

The meeting on Thursday represents the next chapter of Clark County's Drug Court program.

“We expect that they will certify us this week to go ahead and handle the people that were in the Circuit 2 Drug Court to go head and get those people graduated or terminated out of the program,” Mull said.

Officials from Indianapolis met with local court staff for hours behind closed doors on Thursday afternoon.

Those officials would not talk to us on camera but are from the Judicial Center, the agency that handles the certification for drug court.

Under their new guidelines no new drug court participants will be accepted in the program but those already taking part can continue.

“I think we definitely got back on track. These people were in a bit of a limbo for a while and as of today all of them are going to be put back right on track under the intense supervision that they are supposed to be getting under drug court. I think the public can rest assured that people are being supervised under the appropriate levels of supervision,” Mull said.

The original drug court was suspended in February following a series of WHAS11 stories about problems with the court's staff. Some of the court staff is accused of arresting participants when they didn't have arresting power.

They are under a criminal investigation that's still underway.

Under the new guidelines the court will be run out of Circuit Court 4 now with a different judge, more participation from the prosecutor’s office and a new advocate to help the court and the participant.

Once the court signs off on these terms, and they are expected to, the suspension of Clark County's Drug Court will be lifted.
 

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