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Chief Justice Armstead declares May as Treatment Court Month

West Virginia Press Association

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Chief Justice Tim Armstead issued a proclamation on May 7 declaring May as Treatment Court Month in West Virginia, coinciding with a national celebration of treatment courts across the country.

A copy of the proclamation is available on the West Virginia Judiciary website at https://www.courtswv.gov/sites/default/pubfilesmnt/2024-05/TreatmentCourtMonthProclamation.pdf .

“In many cases, substance abuse and addiction play a role in criminal conduct committed by individuals who come before our courts. Treatment courts are an important tool in holding these individuals accountable for their actions while at the same time providing them the encouragement, accountability and support network they may need to overcome their addiction,” said Chief Justice Tim Armstead.

“Graduates of treatment courts can return to their families and jobs, which bolsters our economy and improves public safety. Treatment courts also save the state thousands of dollars for each participant who is not incarcerated,” Chief Justice Armstead said.

Only people charged with non-violent crimes and who are a low-to-moderate risk to be released are allowed to participate in West Virginia treatment courts. Statistics show that there are more than 4,000 treatment courts in the United States, annually serving more than 150,000 people.

At the end of 2023, West Virginia had 30 adult drug courts serving residents of all counties, 15 juvenile drug courts serving 21 counties, and 13 family treatment courts serving 16 counties. There are also eight adult drug courts with a special track for veterans and one separate Military Service Members’ Treatment Court in Raleigh County.

Treatment courts are a successful intervention in our nation’s history for leading people with substance use out of the justice system and into lives of recovery, stability, health, and success.

For more information about West Virginia treatment courts, see Treatment Courts | West Virginia Judiciary (courtswv.gov) or the treatment court section of the 2023 West Virginia Judiciary Annual Report at https://www.courtswv.gov/sites/default/pubfilesmnt/2024-05/2023CourtAnnualReport.pdf.

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