By Gary Nelson
Senior staff writer
Cumberland County will apply for a grant to fund the Cumberland County Drug Court after the Budget Committee approved allowing an agency to apply for the grant on the county's behalf.
Nancy Fallows, program development coordinator with the Tennessee Community Services Agency, wrote a letter to the county requesting permission to apply for the grant for the program which would be funded through the Federal Bureau of Justice Assistance for the Cumberland County Adult DUI/Drug Court Program.
The county previously had the same program for two years and the grant funding for the program expired at the end 2012.
"The drug court is currently maintaining skeleton services for 16 defendants ... The grant we are proposing to write for BJA funds is called an 'Enhancement Grant' and is for a two-year period beginning October 2013 with a maximum amount of $200,000. We are again proposing that TNCSA write the grant and contract with the county to have responsibility for its implementation. This money will enable the Cumberland County Drug Court to build on what we have already started, increase to its former level of 25 to 28 participants at one time and improve services with the goal of increasing its success and retention rate," Fallows letter states.
General Sessions Court Judge Larry Warner also wrote a letter of support for the program and for using Tennessee Community Services Agency (TNCSA) to be involved with the program.
Fallows states in her letter that repeat offenders who have participated in the program are only at 14 percent, while those who do not participate and are jailed at the Cumberland County Jail reoffend at a 91.2 percent rate.
Jan McNeil, 5th District commissioner, made a motion to allow the grant application and her motion was supported by John Kinnunen, 9th District commissioner.
It was unanimously approved.