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West Virginia House committee originates bill to take family drug courts statewide

By Taylor Stuck, The Herald-Dispatch

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Now with eight programs around the state, a West Virginia House of Delegates committee on Wednesday originated a bill to make the Family Drug Court pilot program permanent.

Originated by the Committee on the Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse, the bill would make the pilot program permanent and would remove language prohibiting someone whose parental rights have been terminated from future participation in the program. Boone County Circuit Court Judge Will Thompson testified that just because someone loses their parental rights to one child doesn’t stop them from having more children, and the current language excludes them from the program.

Like adult and juvenile drug courts, family drug treatment court works with adults who find themselves in the criminal justice system as a result of substance use disorder. Family court participants have an adjudicated child abuse or neglect case.

Eight programs have been started around the state since 2019, with three starting this spring. According to the state Supreme Court, so far, 109 people have been served, with 22 already graduating. There have been 148 children served, 38 children reunited with parents and 20 permanently placed back with their parents…

To read more: https://www.herald-dispatch.com/news/w-va-house-committee-originates-bill-to-take-family-drug-courts-statewide/article_d4cca557-c126-5542-8d72-ce34d0ec3f37.html

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